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Aaron Mirck
Those who know how to manage their attention are more creative, more productive, more innovative, happier and less likely to drop out.

This post is written by Aaron Mirck, keynote speaker on technology, author and founder of Aandachtswerk.

The best resolutions for 2024

By: Aaron Mirck

On: 29/12/2023

Originally posted on: Substack

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Think of your brain as a stomach, which you prefer not to give junk food, but healthy food.

Whatever your plans for next year, you need time and attention. That's why I'm sharing a few tips to increase the chance that you will achieve your good intentions next year.

Remember: time > money

Some people say: time is money. But that's not true. Time is much more precious than money. You can never get back a lost hour, while a bad purchase this month might be earned back next month.

The first tip is, therefore: see time as your most valuable possession. Be frugal with the time you have. Because only by spending your time wisely, you have time left for your own priorities – whether that's at work or in your personal life.

Make your mailbox less important

Did you know that the average knowledge worker spends 2.5 to 3 hours a day reading and responding to emails? That's because we make our mailbox too important.

80 percent of professionals always have their mailbox open. As a result, we lose precious time, time that we could spend on other things. So, make your mailbox less important – with these tips.

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Make your phone a bit dull

On average, we spend about 2.5 hours a day on our smartphones – and even more for young people. Twentysomethings spend an average of about 5 hours a day on their mobile phones. If time is our most precious possession, it's a waste to squander it on our phones.

Turn off notifications on your smartphone and remove social media from your phone. If that doesn't work, put your phone in black and white, so it becomes so dull that you leave it alone. Find more tips for less screen time here.

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Don't feed your brain junk food

Input = output. If you want to express original thoughts next year, it's important to feed your brain with quality. See your brain as a stomach that you'd rather not give junk food but healthy food.

Throughout the day, our attention is drawn to various temptations, such as social media, news sites, and other forms of distraction. You can binge-watch a Netflix series or watch a hundred TikTok videos, but that's a kind of digital junk food. Subscribe to interesting newsletters, read a book, or watch a TEDx talk. This way, you swap junk food for a healthier diet.

Take real breaks

The way we take breaks now isn't very smart. For example, you've completed a few challenging tasks and want a moment of rest to recover. It's tempting to open your mailbox, scroll through social media, or read the latest football news.

The downside is: you don't really rest with such a break because even watching a cute cat video is seen by your brain as processing new information. In addition, such a break always lasts longer than you would like because there's always a new video to watch. Time to take better breaks, by, for example, grabbing a drink, going to the bathroom, or taking a walk.

I'm curious about your resolutions for next year – or which tips you think should not be missing from this list. Let me know. If you want to know more about working smarter, Aandachtswerk may be just for you! Through Aandachtswerk I teach teams, organizations, and entrepreneurs to get more out of their workweek."