Paying Attention

How to Better Pay Attention and Stay Focused
*Attention is the fundamental building block of thinking, communicating, and other literacies

Mindfulness is the process of METACOGNITION
  • Attention to Intention is how the mind shapes the brain 
  • The Breath connects the Brain, Mind, and Body
    • Paying attention to your breath helps cultivate mindfulness 
Question: Where are you directing your attention? 
  • Managing mind tools 
    • Knowing which form of awareness to use at each moment 
  • Managing information tools 
  • Match your dashboard to your priorities 
Create space to get your computer work done

Train your attention
  • Repeat until paying attention becomes habitual
Focus on achieving your intentions
  • Understand your goals and daily priorities
    • Put (your daily goals/priorities) in your periphery vision (next to your computer, etc.)
      • Whenever you notice your note, notice what you are paying attention to
      • Is you attention intentional? 
  • One Word Focus Daily Map
  • Create to-do lists
Start small and build new habits


  • Combining attention training with information skills 
  • You need to learn how to search, filter, and scan the info-stream and know when not to search, filter, and scan 
You will learn how to make better, faster micro-decisions 
  • You will learn how to have an awareness of how you are deploying your attention when you are working on your computer, together with self-training in deliberate decision-making about information encountered online 
    • Should you attend to the information at all, or ignore it? 
    • Open a browser tab for later inspection? 
    • Tag or bookmark for much later? 
      • It all depends on what your goals are 
You will learn how to match your attention to your toolset 
  • Creating and tuning your own online information dashboard can serve as a scaffold for you infotention habits-an efficient way of displaying incoming information so you can select the information you need to pay attention to at any moment
  • Taken together, you synchronization of attention to your dashboard and your goal-contextualized micro-decision-making about where to deploy your attention, which will enable you to develop more effective control of your information consumption 

source: rheingold, 2012

OU Get Smarts Previous Blog Post
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Paying attention and staying focused is an essential aspect of your digital knowledge and expansion into the digital realm. Below are some links that will help keep you focused and your attention trained!

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