Daily Archives: November 26, 2010

Focus Button

Current reading: On the Value of Hard Focus

I’ve felt my ability to focus has been eroding over the course of this year… or rather, especially since the end of summer. Multiple things contributed to this. One thing is that I do less programming at work these days. If I’m doing an OS installation, it’s easy to spend a bit of time browsing the internet while I wait a couple of minutes for Windows update to find some downloads. Another thing is the beginning of football season. That means I’ll multitask: Watch a football game, check my fantasy scores on the computer, and try to draw a comic during commercial breaks. It doesn’t work out very well. This also means that during downtime, I have urges to check for fantasy football advice. One more factor is the start of the fall TV season. I watch 4 TV series. While I was working two jobs, I almost stopped watching TV altogether. I thought this was amazing, and I’d just avoid TV in the future and get so much done. Hah! I’m watching TV just to let my brain decompress sometimes… sit on the couch for hours, even if I’m not particularly interested in the show. It’s okay to do it every once in a while, but I’d like to take some time to be productive sometimes.

In fact, as I’m blogging, I’m watching the Boise-Nevada game right now. I’ve also checked Twitter a few times.

I wish there was a friggin’ focus button. I could hit it and focus and just crank out whatever I wanted to. I wouldn’t get distracted by anything. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible. So, what can I do?

Well, based on my reading, it looks like one thing to do is to practice focusing. There’s another idea that’s been on my mind, but I haven’t explored much lately: I should create tools (or devise techniques) that prevent me from distracting myself. The idea is that my monkey brain isn’t strong enough to avoid distractions. Odysseus didn’t think he could withstand the Sirens; he had his men tie him to the mast.

I have to explore this more at another time. The game I’m watching is too exciting! I guess I’ll single-task on the game. (Lying… gonna be on facebook too.)