I saw this and thought of you

A quick one for you today.

Also, I’m bloody terrible at giving advice. I always come across as an overzealous Weight Watchers newbie who, after sticking to the plan for all of 27 minutes, proclaims to the world how awesome it is.

So, with that in mind…

… let’s talk about emotions.

As a freelancer or business owner, you experience the full range of emotions.

You’ve got the joys and delights when your calendar is chocka and you’re turning away work…

… and the despair of desperately needing someone to say yes, just you can make the mortgage payment.

It gets worse though…

As a business owner, you’re on your own.

YOU are responsible for everything.

That responsibility only intensifies the emotions you feel.

That’s why, when I read this, I thought of you:

“… demonstrated a close connection between their ability to control their attention and their ability to control their emotions.”

It’s from Daniel Kahneman’s book, “Thinking, Fast and Slow” and this little nugget was hidden away, with no special emphasis, in one of the early chapters.

Here’s why I think this is important…

A lot of our lives as business owners or freelancers is reacting to stuff:

A new competitor enters the market with cheaper prices than you…

Technology changes, making your “thingy” obsolete…

FB shuts down your ad account unfairly…

All these things trigger our emotions, but they also have one thing in common…

… they’re out of our control.

We must find elements we CAN control… things that we CAN do something about, to stop us from ripping our hair out.

Attention is a perfect place to start.

Attention is not a panacea, obviously, but…

… it is a difference-maker.

Learn how to control your attention.

Do you need to shave your head, abandon your family, and spend the rest of your days in silence atop the Nepalese mountains?

Yes. Yes, you do.

Of course not.

The good news is, you don’t have to become a productivity guru or a meditation master to control your attention.

Here’s an easy place to start – something you can do right now…

Stop multi-tasking.

Do one thing at a time.

No checking Facebook… no switching between windows… or looking at your phone.

When you’re doing something…

… do ONLY that thing.

There’s a double win here of course because not only will controlling attention help you regulate your emotions…

… you’ll become more productive too.

I’ve written about this kind of thing before, but reading it this morning was a helpful reminder for me.

Maybe for you too?