1/ one of the best things i’ve done for productivity: for the last month, have severely limited reading of tech news, twitter, and fb
— Sam Altman (@sama) November 19, 2014
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
- 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?