About this post
Type of technique: attention directing tool
Technique in a nutshell: imagine you have a three dimensional sphere that you can move around in space. This represents your attention during creative thinking. You can 'zoom in' on objects within the sphere.
Applying the Zone of Attention
To apply the Zone of Attention technique, I imagine a transparent three-dimensional sphere in front of me. This represents my area of attention during creative thinking. The Zone of Attention also has a pinpoint to fine tune my focusing. I can visualise a Zone of Attention either on something I can directly see, or on a scene that I am visualising or recalling.
Actions on the Zone of Attention
I can carry out three changes on the Zone of Attention:
I can move the ZOA anywhere.
I can change the size of the ZOA.
I can move the Pinpoint within the ZOA.
Varying the size of the ZOA
I use the acronym WUMPP to remind me of my options when changing the size of the ZOA:
W = World
U = Universe
M = Mile
P = Person
P = Pinhead
I can, of course, change the ZOA to any size I like but the acronym helps me to remember (and use) the full extent of the sizing options.
Naming the Zone of Attention
I can give the Zone of Attention a name. This helps when listing information about the contents of the ZOA and helps to avoid listing only the most obvious features within the zone. It also allows the ZOA to be considered as a concept in its own right. So if I am imagining an accident scene such as the one on the right I could name my chosen ZOA 'the accident zone'.
Including myself in the Zone of Attention
At the start of any creative exercise I find it's a good idea to include myself in the initial Zone of Attention. This helps me to bring my awareness into the here-and-now and consider what my initial goals are during the creativity.
In words this present-moment awareness could be expressed as:
Now Here Me Doing: Brainstorming
Now Here Me Doing: Problem-solving
Book: Serious Creativity, Edward de Bono