Finding the Balance Between Intention and Attention

Last semester in my Dark Poetry & Fantasy Workshop we talked about intention vs. attention and how we do or don’t balance those two things in our everyday lives. Sometimes we are so focused on our goals or jobs (intentions) that we don’t think about the people in our lives or how what we are doing affects things (attentions). But the opposite can also happen and then we feel like we’re on a double-edge sword because either way we choose, we aren’t evenly dividing our time between our goals or jobs and our loved ones.

I know I am guilty of not finding the right balance between the two, especially in the last few months. My focus was on my new job and trying to get through the end of the semester so much that I wasn’t giving my friends and family the time they wanted or deserved. I’ve been told many times by many different people that with my chosen goals/career path, sacrifices are going to have to be made and I’ll miss out on a lot as a result. So the double-edge sword, “damned it you do, damned if you don’t” situation seems to be the story of my life!

I’ve been trying to find that balance by reminding myself that I’m not perfect, I’m human and there are only so many hours in a day that not everything can be done in one day and that’s OK. My problem is that I’m an extremist in the sense that I’m either fully focused on my intentions or fully focused on my attentions! In pretty much every aspect of my life I’m either on one side or the other, I’m never really in the middle. If I’m overly logical, I can’t be emotional and if I’m overly emotional, I can’t be logical. I see most things in black and white with very few gray areas. I know this isn’t a good thing, that I need to find that balance, but I’m really unsure how to do it. I’ve tried to-do lists, prioritizing, multitasking, and while they have all been helpful, none have ever been quite enough to help me find that balance I need in my life.

So my question is who many of you battle this on a daily basis? What tips/advice have you been given to help find the balance in your life? Have they worked for you? I’m looking forward to seeing what all of you have to say on this subject!



  1. Michelle, finding the “sweet spot” of balance in one’s life is an ongoing battle I think. Even with the most organized approach life is so unpredictable you wind up reshuffling priorities daily at work…as well as home…and everything in between. Social media, so many entertainment choices, so much information coming at us. It is a significant challenge.

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