Tips on How to Focus

I’ve only been reading Clay Johnson’s blog, InfoVegan, for a little while but I am really enjoying the variety of posts he’s sharing, not just the open government/transparency fare you’d expect given his background at the Sunlight Foundation. His post from earlier today is an excellent example. Clay is clearly an infovore, like myself, and his post on how he works to maintain focus resonates very strongly with me at the moment. I have a podcast feature in the queue that is about a similar topic.

Clay goes a bit further than I do, in terms of strictness and constraints, like this one about disabling your mouse.

Turned the mouse off during work-time

During the time that I’m working (unless I’m editing) — my 35 minute work intervals — I turn my mouse off. I’ve found that I can focus much more on the task at hand if I don’t touch or use that mouse. For me, my mouse is a gateway towards passive browsing and web surfing. If I don’t have access to it, I can’t begin the chain reaction of getting sucked into the web. For me, it’d be like running a marathon on a road with 26.2 miles of chicken-wing stores. I might make it a few miles, sure, but around mile 20, I’m going to succumb to temptation. I’ve found that Divvy helps me manage windows without the mouse, and that Vimium helps me use the web for research without the mouse.

He admits in the conclusion, everyone is different. His techniques are good fodder for anyone having trouble focusing to either try and adopt if they work or at least getting you thinking about ways you can reduce or eliminate distractions that rob you of critical attention needed to get work done.

How to Focus,

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