The quality of your work and the satisfaction you feel is connected to your ability to focus.

Ideas

Finding Focus in a Distracted World

Steve Rio February 7, 2018

The quality of your life is defined by what you focus on.

In the past three years, Briteweb has moved to a remote and distributed model. As you may have read in a previous post about how we built a winning remote team, you know that getting here wasn’t easy. We implemented various digital communications tools and organizational strategies, and completely changed the way we work.

Our team has done an amazing job staying connected through this transition, but getting here is just half the battle. Now that we’re operating within this model, we’re already actively working towards version 2.0, which will leverage everything we’ve learned so far.

A few questions that come up often for us as we think about the future of work at Briteweb:

  • What is the next evolution of our remote/distributed model?
  • How do we ensure we are supporting our team’s mental well-being?
  • How do we create the conditions for our team to do the deep, focused work that our partners hire us for?
  • What does culture and community look like in a remote and distributed model?
  • How connected is too connected?

We live in a world that rewards deep work, yet is increasingly designed to distract us from achieving it.

There are two core abilities for thriving in the new economy: the ability to quickly master hard things, and the ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed*. These are only possible with high levels of focus and concentration.

As a knowledge worker, it is easy to confuse: busy-ness with effectiveness, response rate with value delivered and boxes checked with actual impact.

Between our personal social accounts and our work accounts, we’re constantly being distracted. Our focus is constantly being challenged. It’s up to us to take control of our digital habits.

Habits for Focus, Optimization and Mental Wellbeing

  • Start your day without any internet for the first 30 minutes minimum. Read a book, meditate, or find a morning practice (gratitude, journaling, yoga, exercise, etc.)
  • Find 45-90 minute blocks in the day to turn off all notifications (phone and laptop) and focus on one task at a time (no multitasking in these blocks)
  • Define specific blocks in the day for responding to email, notifications across apps etc – don’t live out of your inbox!
  • Consider what notifications you absolutely need on your phone and turn off all others (hint: try turning off any notifications that aren’t from a real human)
  • Take “mental space” breaks through the day, no connection to the internet or digesting any new content. Get comfortable being bored a few times a day or just daydreaming, it’s actually a very productive and restorative activity for your brain.
  • Notice your habits when you have a moment between things – how often do you reach for your phone?

The quality of your work and the satisfaction you derive from it is determined by your ability to find deep flow, focus and concentration.

Scroll through Center for Humane Technology’s website for more tips on how to take control and live more intentionally with your devices, and follow along as we explore what the future of work means for us at Briteweb.

* Quoted from Deep Work by Cal Newport

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