Put your focus where it matters

11 Mar 2020 | 3 minute read

During the twenty-four hours of the day, the time I can spend in deep focus on a set of problems is limited.

In my current state of mind, I estimate that my capacity for deep focus is approximately 3 hours a day, which is quite little time.

As of this, cultivating and creating the right circumstances and the environment that I need to focus deeply on things is crucial. Here is a list of some of the things that I do to create the best circumstances for deep focus:

  • A quiet space where I won't get interrupted.
  • A should be neither too hot nor too cold.
  • Defining exactly what I am to focus on.
  • Defining what I should focus on after that if I solve the problem faster then anticipated.
  • No slack, email or social media.

Unfortunately, what's described above doesn't go hand in hand with most workplaces. That's one of the major reasons that I love to work from home, at least for a portion of the day. It's easier to get deep thinking done in that manner (and be more productive in general).

I would even go so far as to claim that most workplaces are shockingly subpar at cultivating an environment that enables the employees to focus deeply on the problems they are employed to solve. It's unfortunate, as it's a major waste of money to hire smart people and not give them great circumstances to think.

The most apparent example of this is the meeting culture that is swamping most people throughout the day. If you're stuck in back-to-back meeting all day, nothing of great value isn't going to be produced, and there isn't much time to think about important topics and questions.

Meetings should be done between scheduled sessions of deep thinking, deep thinking shouldn't be squeezed in between scheduled meetings.

It's my strong opinion that many of us would live more fulfilled lives if we could spend more of our time in an environment where we can do great work, and great work doesn't happen in short bursts. It comes from a deliberate act of putting yourself in a state of thinking that enables you to think deeply.

Where you put your focus matters. And how you use your focus matters. I invite everyone, including myself, to carefully assess where and how they put their mental energy, their focus fuel and ultimately their brilliant minds at play. Chances are, that your focus and energy could be used more efficiently.

At least, that's how it is for me. I love exploring new ideas and creating things I didn't know were possible for me to create.