pay appropriate attention I have this calendar hanging on the back of my office door. Well, it’s not really a calendar. It doesn’t tell you the day, the month, or the year. What it does is provide 90 years worth of 52 checkboxes all in a row, one for each year of your life up until the age of 90. Each week you fill in one of the checkboxes.

I am shocked by the speed in which I am filling in each check box. I use a Sharpie marker to color in a box only to discover it’s time to color in another one. Coloring in each box in reminds me that your life slips by while you are living, unless you are very intentional about what you do with the time you have.

Pay Attention

What has your attention probably doesn’t deserve your attention.

Most of what shows up in your life only feels important because it feels urgent. Much of the work you do is a reactive. The majority of your emails are things that are important to someone else. So are most of the phone calls, and the vast majority of your meetings. The Internet is even a more dangerous distraction than television, providing an endless parade of novelties, most of which don’t deserve your attention.

To combat the constant whittling away of your attention, you have to very intentionally decide what is important.

Is what you are working on now something that moves you closer to your life’s goal, your life’s dream?

Is what you are working on going to make a difference in your life and in the lives of the people you care about most?

Intention and Design

I am spending more time reflecting, planning, designing my ideal life based on my priorities, and scheduling time for what’s most important. Good intentions by themselves aren’t enough. I dread coloring in one of the weekly boxes in a week where my attention was captured by things that aren’t aligned with my goals.

When you know what you want and you have a big enough “why” driving it, the way to protect your priorities is to ensure that they make it on to your calendar, the one place where you keep record the commitments you always keep. When you schedule a meeting with someone and it makes it onto your calendar, you always keep the appointment. Designing the life you really want requires that you make and keep the commitments you make to yourself as consistently as you keep the commitments you make to others.

Which of your goals are absent from this week’s calendar?

What is worth enough to you for you to block time for it on your calendar this week?

I intend to need a second calendar with an additional 90 years. I am confident that artificial intelligence and modern science are going to radically extend our lives with advances made in the next 20 years. But I am also hedging that bet by looking at each week and each day as a critical block of time, a block of time worth planning, and a block of time worth putting to good use.

What’s got your attention? Hit reply and send me your thoughts, your ideas, and your story.

Do good work this week, and make it work that’s worth your attention. I’ll see you back here next week.

Anthony Iannarino

P.S. If you missed last week’s Virtual Sales Kickoff, you can view the replay here:

P.P.S. I just redesigned my site at It’s completely responsive, so you can read it on your smartphone or tablet. I also added some pages about the keynote speeches and workshops I provide. Stop by and take a look. Let me know what you think.


Contributor Anthony Lannarino is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and consultant. He writes daily at and you can subscribe to his newsletter at