I’ve been geeking out so hard on how to focus. It’s been challenging to find time to actually focus and write this. It seems implausible or impossible that I’ll ever hit send (now five years on). So this is more for me than you now.
Plus you’ve already got this shit figured out more than I. As one of my most expansive friends — here are some thoughts on how to focus in an ever distracting world.
Is there an App for that?
Headspace, Tomato Timer, MindZip, Blinkist, Pocket, Session Buddy — all have utility but won’t really do the trick in isolation. The hack, and the only one that really matters, I believe, is your rhythms and rituals.
We run around like headless chickens; From time to time our work demands this— but more often than not it's because we choose to. Deep work escapes us. It did for me today. But tomorrow I get another swing at-bat.
Kaizen is continuous improvement, it’s changing for the better. Now while I hope I’m doing this I’m well aware that I may be looping. I believe that I am stretching and growing but really I’m just nesting.
Staying with what I know, what’s comfortable. And when it comes to focusing, what worked a year and a half ago seems to be futile now. Changing things up is necessary to make changes for the better.
Walking Slow in Mexico
I got stuck in Mexico City. I thought I would feel like a wee ant, but I felt large. Maybe because there was a recent earthquake or maybe because it’s so hot — but man were people walking slow. Or maybe it’s just the culture, I guess I could dig deeper to find out. But what has this all have to do with focus anyways? It’s about peripheral vision.
Mo, oh wise one, you don’t have a problem with this — in fact, it may be one of your biggest assets. A child of the world, you are as cozy in Hong Kong as you are in Hackney or as laid back in Sechelt as you are in Semperviva (a yoga studio that has gone defunct since Covid).
The point is with a wide-angle lens, being able to take in all that is around you see what others don’t. This lets you discern and then hone in with a razor-sharp focus on what to focus on.
As sauntered at a snail’s pace through the Centro of the city, it’s this that dawned on me. Going from peripheral-vision mode to focus-and-execution mode leads to juicy things.
If I can I avoid technology until 10 or even 11 am every day. I fill this time with what I need to be present and responsive to the world throughout the day. It’s an ideal but the intention is to have as many #daymakers as I can in a given week. Coffee helps too.
The point, I think, is being both intentional and having a process that you are continually working on — tweaking, twerking, and toying with. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
Dear Lord, a month of writing an article a day has come to an end. If you’d like to sign up for my monthly you can do that here.