“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”
Herbet A. Simon wasn’t talking about work when he said this but it applies. Staying focused at work is difficult. Staying focused while working from home is near impossible.
I organise all my environments to extend my attention span:
You should try to have an area dedicated to work, ideally a room. For me, it’s just a desk in the corner of my bedroom. I try to keep it clean at all times. Every object that isn’t supposed to be there is a possible distraction.
During work, I keep the door closed so others don’t come storming in, or at least not as often.
There’s no TV or radio or anything else playing. At most, I listen to my work or writing playlist.
This is the one I can control the most.
All push notifications are off on my laptop except upcoming meetings. Most push notifications are off on my phone.
I don’t read the news and I don’t use socials before noon (mostly). I check emails only once per day. I don’t even open the app at other times.
Your mind is the most important environment but the hardest one to control. Focus and emotions don’t have an on and off switch.
I try a few things like affirmations, gratitude and setting priorities to control my mind in the morning.
While I’m working, I have three dedicated playlists.
- One for writing research,
- Nuvole Bianche on loop while writing,
- And another list for other work.