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Focus

Last week, Adam Axon shared his tips on how he focuses and gets awesome stuff done. We had a great discussion in the comments on his site, and I thought I’d share my personal system here.

What do you do to stay focused?

Cutting the Noise #

  1. I only follow about 50 people on Twitter. I actually tend to unfollow more people than I add in any given month, so that number has slowly been going down. On Facebook the number is higher, because it’s real life friends who generally don’t make a lot of noise (unless you consider LOL cats noise).
  2. I write just one blog. I have just one Twitter account. Reading blogs is my achilles heel. When I have books to read (typically fiction) the number is lower, but I’m between novels right now, so I’m reading blogs like mad to fill the void.
  3. I tend to not watch a lot of TV, so yay there!

Working Smarter #

  1. I admit, I’m easily distracted. Worst thing about working at a computer is that there’s always something to distract you. I’ve started doing more of my work “analog” in a Muji notebook when I can.
  2. I check email every half-hour. It’s almost never anything useful. That said, on days where I’m in the zone, I’ll check it twice – once at the beginning of the day, and once at the end of the day.
  3. I can’t always do this, but when I can, I like to pick one project and work on nothing but that all day. I get way more done this way.
  4. I found GTD far too complex. I now use a simple system:
    – My calendar tells me when I have meetings.
    – I keep one big to-do list… project headings, with sub-items for all the action steps beneath them.
    – On most days I use a Fieldnotes notebook for a daily to-do list of 3 – 5 things that need to happen that day.
  5. I also generally ignore my desk phone in the same way I ignore my email. I’ll check voicemails periodically, and pick up my cell phone right away.

The Right Fuel #

  1. As you know, I’ve started exercising again. It’s made a big difference.
  2. I have an egg-and-cheese sandwich almost every day. As a guilty pleasure, I usually have sausage on it too. Trying to cut that out and replace it with fruit.
  3. I don’t drink much coffee, that I do require a daily cup in the morning. I wish I didn’t need it.

🚀 I just relaunched my Vanilla JS Pocket Guides with new code examples and real projects to help tie everything you’ll learn together. Check it out.

Have any questions or comments about this post? Email me at chris@gomakethings.com or contact me on Twitter at @ChrisFerdinandi.

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