I just got back from a week filled with hiking, yoga, mediation, champagne tastings, shopping, laughing, and time with those I love in beautiful surroundings.
When you slow down, have you realized how distracted you’d been or how disconnected you’d become? Or is that just me?
This past week showed me that the fact that I was tired and overwhelmed—like many people are right now—was partially my fault.
While away from work, I realized there were a few bad attention habits that needed to change. I had formed habits with devices that were unhelpful and didn’t feel luxurious at all.
The biggest culprit? I was spending time on my phone first thing in the morning (which is a whole other conversation), and it wasn’t setting my mind (or day) up for success.
Checking the same platform multiple times (which I totally understand is ridiculous as I type it), responding to texts, mindlessly scrolling—it was crazy! Can you relate?
Instead of beating myself up, I decided to refresh my brain with books I’d loved and read about good attention habits. I took the luxury of stepping away for a few hours to identify the things that weren’t serving me, and gave some serious thought and attention on how to change them.
Luxury is a mindset.
Luxury is a choice.
Luxury is choosing to set the standards in your life (perhaps luxurious standards) to live your best life possible.
Luxury is habits (the good ones, of course).
So, what are you to do if you want to establish attention habits that serve you better? Let’s start with understanding the Habit Loop.
If you have a copy of Attention Pays, grab it and re-read pages 43-47 (if not, grab yourself a copy from your fave bookstore). You’ll find information all about the Habit Loop, which has three parts (quick refresher here):
- Cue (often also referred to as a trigger)
Let’s use technology as an example—our devices can be a major attention trigger. Let’s consider your possible habit of checking your phone.
- The cue or trigger is the sound or vibration it makes when you have a new email, text, or social media update. Even if your phone is in your pocket or on silent, the moment you feel it vibrate your brain is triggered, and your attention is immediately split.
- Following the cue is the behavior itself, often called the routine. The routine in this case would be reaching for your phone.
- The final part of the habit loop is the reward, which is seeing who just texted you or finding out what is trending on social media.
Before you know it, you’ve spent maybe hours scrolling on your phone, taking your attention away from what needs it the most. Understanding this habit loop is critical to breaking our negative attention habits.
What habits do you need to break when it comes to how you are investing your attention?
Breaking habits can feel overwhelming, but, as with anything, the first step is to take time. Carve out time to identify the negative attention triggers and how damaging they are to our relationships, productivity, and health—and ultimately achieving our goals, especially if we want to create a more luxurious mindset.
We then need to take responsibility for changing our behavior by eliminating those triggers—maybe instead of putting your phone in your pocket or on the dinner table, you stash it in your purse or hide it in a drawer if you are trying to get work completed or build a relationship?
Have you heard people say it takes 21 days to form a new habit? That’s rubbish!! Not true.
A study by Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at the University College of London, aimed to figure out just how long it takes to form a habit. Guess how long???
Their findings (published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, showed it takes more than two months!! On average, it was—wait for it—66 days to be exact!
It might take you more than 21 days to break any negative attention habits you have, but it will be so worth it in the long term!
Don’t know where to start? I love these books: Atomic Habits and The Power of Habit. Want to be a strong leader? Consider reading The Coaching Habit. If you’re looking to create a more powerful morning routine like me so you can be more present in starting the day powerfully, I recommend Miracle Morning. If you want to create a new habit of reading more each day, consider adding it to a habit you already have (like a daily walk). Maybe you don’t have huge amounts of time so consider using an app like Blinkist for book summaries. I love it for my daily walks.
To make your every day feel more luxurious, consider the habits that are no longer serving you that you want to break and start with those.
What is a habit you want to change? Share it with me here… let’s keep each other accountable.