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intentional attentionHere’s a fun fact: According to the Information Overload Group, we lose $588B dollars (yep that’s billion) each year in US business because we don’t pay attention! Imagine that.


Recently I was interviewed on WFMZ 69 News at Sunrise by the lovely Eve Russo, about the need for intentional attention and how we all need to pay more attention every day.


She asked some great questions and you can see the 4-minute segment here: 

In our lightning-paced world, people everywhere are experiencing an attention deficit crisis. I believe attention is the new currency. Attention is EVERYTHING!

Intentional attention is about creating moments that MATTER. Here’s the caveat to that however:  Intentional attention may mean reducing your social media time, putting away devices and noticing everyone around you. While that may seem a little stressful – your life will be richer for it:


Here are 10 ways you can give intentional attention today:


  1. Stop checking your social media (or texting) while driving. Did you know nine people die everyday because of distracted driving? This one could not only enhance your life but SAVE your life!
  2. Have a device-free meal. Create a rule no cell phones on the table. When I eat with my friends we put all cell phones in the middle of the table, first one to pick theirs up pays the whole bill!
  3. Leave your device in your bag. Be totally present. Pay attention to the conversation, meeting or meal that is happening not your screen.
  4. Spend 15 minutes with someone when they get home. When your honey arrives, or the kids finish school, or your parents arrive. Someone misses you today… it might be your love, your puppy, your parents or your little people. Take a quick time out to connect one-on-one.
  5. Make a virtual date. Schedule a Skype or Zoom call or FaceTime someone with a coffee, wine… or in my case, champagne. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation, but seeing people face-to-face is such a treat. Technology makes that easy for you.
  6. Use blocking apps. I am a huge fan of Freedom app that blocks social media, email and websites for periods of time. Try it out.
  7. Be comfortable with awkward silence. Make the most of the moments that matter when you are driving in your car with a loved one, waiting for the next person to speak at dinner or sitting on a teleconference. Silence allows space. Allow people to think and react more thoughtfully.
  8. Smile at those in service. I make a point of smiling at baristas, using their names, chatting with the bagger at my grocery store, the flight crew on the planes, the gate agents. These people have important roles and they have chosen careers to serve others, let them know you see and appreciate them.
  9. Listen with your eyes. My friend Donovan taught me this valuable lesson. We don’t just listen with our ears, we listen with our eyes – give someone the gift of your undivided attention.
  10. UN-everything. Unfriend those you don’t enjoy. Unfollow people and companies cluttering up your feed. Unsubscribe from emails you don’t need or read. Untag yourself in posts and pictures you don’t like. Easy peasy.


It’s an extraordinary time to be alive. When we take the time to slow down a little and truly appreciate the world, the people around us and the moments we’re in – we can enjoy it all the more.


  • Nancy S says:

    Thank you for the insightful, quick read. Just as Attention is the new currency, Distraction is our debt that we can not afford to build on. Lovely piece.

    • Neen James says:

      Yes yes yes! In my corporate keynotes, I ask people to move from the Attention Deficit Economy to the Attention economy. I think we need an attention surplus! You and I are on the same page Nancy! Thank you for reading and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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