On Focusing

November 19, 2014

in Leadership, Personal Improvement

As a PhD student, I was really good at focusing. I could spend all day completely absorbed in an introverted mode of cranking on a project. I think entrepreneurship has changed me. Focusing has become more difficult.

I recently read the Mark Suster post on ADD. The symptoms he describes are very familiar to me:

  • Inability to focus on routine tasks
  • Often doing many things at once
  • Often finish 80% of tasks but too bored to finish the final 20%
  • Inability to sit through boring meetings
  • Argumentative
  • Late for meetings
  • Drive fast
  • Overly salt or sugar foods
  • Inability to sit still – as in at movies, theater or in classrooms
  • Reading 5 or 6 books at once but never completely finishing any

Most of those apply to me.

I like Sama’s tweet above. I have likewise cut out a lot of the Twitter reading I used to do. I could probably do more to cut that out. I deleted Facebook last Christmas too. I avoid the news mostly. I have enough distractions as-is without introducing more.

In a high paced world, focus is very valuable. While my job no longer entails going super deeply into analytic problems every day, I have recently recognized the need to find spans of focused uninterrupted time to do work without distraction.

What are your thoughts on focusing?


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