Volatility. Uncertainty. Complexity. Ambiguity. These four words (shorthanded to “VUCA”) describe the type of high-stress, high-demand scenarios that can rapidly degrade one of our most powerful and influential brain systems: our attention.

During uncertain times, we are all living in VUCA conditions. Compounding the constant health and economic concerns, we are facing unprecedented levels of social upheaval, environmental destruction, and political discord. All of these events influence our cognitive capacities—and it’s not for the better. If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed or unfocused; if you’ve struggled with staying on task or been blindsided by emotion during this time—you are not alone!

Your attention system is complex and multifaceted, but the more you know about how it works, the more able you will be to navigate VUCA events. So here, Amishi Jha and her research team from the University of Miami share 10 things you need to know about your attention—and how to protect it—that will serve you not only through this crisis, but for the rest of your life, including your professional fundraising life.


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