In life, there will be times when you are non-stop, pedal to the metal, flat out.
Everyone (and everything) it seems, vying for your attention.
A work/life balance non-existent, you find yourself fixated, tunnel-visioned on your primary concern, too busy to offer your attention to much else.
For some, this period stretches their entire working life - they live to work.
Others balance things out.
Regardless, there will be issues in life that require your immediate attention and should never be ignored.
Because doing so may significantly alter your path as you know it.
At any time, there are only so many things you’re able to pay attention to.
Like right now, you may not have been aware of your breathing, you blinking, the clothes touching your skin.
Your brain filters out irrelevant information, so your energy is focused on what’s most important.
The more consuming the task, the more attention required.
Watch this clip for a better understanding:
It’s easy to focus on and become so absorbed with something that you block out everything in your periphery.
Translate the above exercise to not paying attention whilst driving. No matter how experienced, all it takes is a split second.
Reports claim our attention spans have reduced over the last twenty years, digital technology, and social media, reasons for concern.
But others call bullshit on these claims; the primary consideration, the quality of the information being consumed. If something engages you, you’ll remain attentive.
Whilst some contend with conditions such as ADHD which reduce attention span, there are things we can all do to increase it.
You may believe yourself to be highly effective at multitasking, however, studies show multitaskers often underperform in comparison to those who don’t.
Multitasking results in more mistakes, greater anxiety, whilst impacting your short-term memory and creativity.
Effectively, you’re wasting more time by doing so.
We all know the benefits of exercise; a healthy body is a healthy mind.
A recent study found the greater the improvement in fitness level, the greater the increase in neural efficiency, thus benefitting your attention and working memory.
Incorporating brisk walking into your routine can make a huge difference.
Get more sleep
For those who get less than six hours a night, realise it’s doing more harm than good as your body requires REM and deep sleep in order to repair itself.
Sleep deprivation studies have shown cognitive impairments similar to being drunk, but even missing out on one good night’s sleep can take its toll.
Mindfulness meditation is about letting go of negativity, thoughts of the past, the future and focusing your attention on the present moment.
As little as ten minutes a day is all that is required.
Something Ain’t Right
Ever not given something the attention it deserved only for it to bite your ass later down the track?
“I’m too busy,”
“I’ll get to it later,”
“She’ll be right, mate,”
Just a few excuses you might tell yourself.
Often, it’s no biggie; the problem sorts itself out and everything is cool.
But there are times when you know (in your gut) something ain’t right yet continue to disregard it.
This is how avoidable problems occur – by actively ignoring the warning signs until the issue escalates to be so big it can no longer be ignored.
I’ll give you an example.
After moving into a new place, I noticed my washing machine leaked when run; water running off the tiles in the laundry onto the carpet in the adjoining room.
“I should look at that,” I thought, yet continued to use the washing machine; the carpet soaked through with each run.
After a couple of months (yeah, I know 🙄), I noticed discolouration in that portion of the carpet. So too did the property manager and penalised me a portion of my bond to cover the damage.
The issue? A hose wasn’t properly connected under the sink.
This is relatively minor when compared to problems that could arise. It also highlights the importance not to be lazy and procrastinate.
Often, it’s wise to err on the side of caution and act immediately over letting things pan out.
As they say, better safe than sorry.
Here are three areas that always deserve your attention:
No matter what your age, there are subtle symptoms you should never ignore.
In your teens and twenties, there’s a sense of invincibility. You’ve plenty of energy, recover quickly, and the thought of illness or death is something old people deal with. This changes with age, but that’s not to say you’re not susceptible to serious conditions, more so if there’s family history.
If you want to enjoy a long and healthy life, address symptoms as soon as they arise, not when it’s too late.
If you often make common financial mistakes or are nervous about, yet haven’t addressed your financial situation, burying your head in the sand hoping the issue will go away will not solve your problems.
Commit to a time, sit down, and analyse your finances to know where all your money is going.
Credit card debt is a concern for many. Where possible, consolidate the debt into a personal loan to reduce the exorbitant credit card interest you’re paying.
If experiencing financial hardship, prioritise discussion of the matter with your bank, landlord, and other significant parties. There are people who can help.
In the early stages (honeymoon phase) of a personal relationship, it’s not uncommon to be head over heels about someone to the point of ignoring their glaring red flags.
Even in established relationships, it’s important to recognise and address issues before it’s too late.
Oftentimes, people don’t change or the issue between you never resolves. In these instances, all you’re doing is putting yourself through more pain, delaying the inevitable.
And if you’re not strong enough to call it quits, what would you prefer – short-term pain or a lifetime of unhappiness with the wrong person?
Other issues will arise that require attention.
A sound from the engine, a looming deadline, a leaking washing machine.
Sometimes, it’s beneficial to think worst case – what will this cost me if I don’t do something about it now?
It’s about minimising risk, making life easier for yourself, so your time and attention can be directed back where you desire it most.
“If something feels off, it usually is.”
Get out of your tunnel, see the bigger picture, pay attention.
Take control and make things happen.
Because acting sooner rather than later just might save more than an inconvenience.
It could save your life.