Paying Attention to the Problems That Have Your Attention

There are no silver bullets for managing your fractured attention. However, you may find it resourceful to write down your commitments on paper or on a computer document, so that you can process them, organize them, take action on them, and review your list as needed, so that your mind isn’t constantly buzzing.

 

A Useful Exercise to Get Back Some Control

Clear off three or four hours from your schedule one day, and spend that time documenting all of the questions and commitments on your mind. Believe it or not, you don’t actually have a “million” things on your plate. Even the busiest parent (or executive) usually only has a few hundred open items at any one time.

Write down anything that’s grabbing your attention. Thoughts ranging from “buy more dog food” to “book a tour to Egypt” to “repair relationship with brother that’s been damaged by the abuse allegations” are all fair game. Just writing this list should help you feel better, because you will see that there are limits to your concerns.

The next steps involve processing, organizing and prioritizing your projects and what you need to do about each one of them. Here’s a powerful article that describes how to go through these phases methodically. Even if you do only the collection phase, however, you’ll still enjoy more peace of mind, because cleaning out the mental cobwebs enhances focus. Plus, it’s hard to feel good about whatever you’re doing in any moment if you feel like you “should” be doing something else.

For instance, you might want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or help your mother clean her basement or forge an ambitious marketing initiative at work… but what if you’re swamped triaging your finances? By writing down and tracking what you need to do in an organized way, you can circle back to things later and feel okay deferring them. Create placeholders on a document, instead of trying to keep everything in your head.

 

Begin with the End in Mind

The issues stirred up or worsened by false allegations can provoke impulsive, bad actions. For instance, as we discussed in a prior chapter, to stop the pain of a Title 9 trial, you might be tempted to cooperate with DCPP and just “play along to get along.” This strategy may feel tempting in the moment, but it may be counterproductive in the long run, as we discussed.

You must visualize your end goals prior to taking action. Here’s how author, Steven Covey, eloquently put it in his famous bestseller, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People:

“[Beginning with the end in mind] is based on imagination–the ability to envision in your mind what you cannot at present see with your eyes. It is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There is a mental (first) creation, and a physical (second) creation. The physical creation follows the mental, just as a building follows a blueprint. If you don’t make a conscious effort to visualize who you are and what you want in life, then you empower other people and circumstances to shape you and your life by default. It’s about connecting again with your own uniqueness and then defining the personal, moral, and ethical guidelines within which you can most happily express and fulfill yourself. Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen.”

What do you want to accomplish, with respect to your career, your relationships, your public perception, and your mental and physical health? Clarify those goals, and write them down.

For skillful, experienced assistance battling back against untrue allegations of child abuse or neglect, call the Williams Law Group, LLC immediately at (908) 810-1083.

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