Ahti Kitsik
Building develper tools. Python, Java, JavaScript.

writings about @ahtik

Finding the laser sharp focus with deliberate practice of distractions

By Ahti Kitsik, 07 Jun 2012

This is a my crosspost from TimeGT Blog. Comments on this post are closed, please submit all your feedback there.

The breakthrough for me came when I realized that the laser sharp focus is not about focus itself. It's about taking away everything else. I just constantly apply deliberate practice to eliminate aspects that ruin focus.

It's always about distractions. At home you might have a good idea about the goods to take from the grocery but as soon as you step into the store without a list - you're lost. At least for me managing to remember even five items while looking around in a store is close to impossible.

Working with a computer is like working in a candy store. It's easy to get lost as soon as you forget your current task. To overcome my memory and attention failure I tweaked my task management app TimeGT - now it shows my in progress task as a small always-on-top notification window. It annoys with smaller screens just a bit but at least I remember that I should be working on X and NOT check my e-mail or twitter or read that wicked new CSS button generator source. Keep your current task clearly written somewhere visible, it has helped me way more than I thought.

“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”

It is suggested that when procrastination kicks in then it's better to do anything a bit important, even if it's not urgent. It sounds like a good short-term solution but I try to avoid it as much as possible. If there is an important AND urgent task waiting then doing unurgent is not the best thing to do. I better stay calm, go out and take a walk -- clears my mind and helps to reevaluate priorities and motivation. Maybe the urgent task is unimportant and then it should be never done. At least according to the Eisenhower matrix.

Many thanks to Jevgeni for the blog post that sparked the need to write down my own thoughts on this.

@ahtik is on twitter!