Excess of focus
There’s plenty of books, podcasts, classes out there about staying focused:
- How to not waste a minute
- How to make most of your time
- How to get in the zone
Mostly in response to the concerns that many of us have:
- I can’t focus
- I am busy
- I have so many things to do
- I’ll do this when I have time
There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging a problem and looking a solution. Learning how to get and stay focused is a great skill.
Entering counter-melody mode now.
How come I rarely hear “I am excessively focused”?
I think there’s an excessive pressure on squeezing every minute of our days. I admit it’s a great feeling when you accomplish many important tasks in a day and go to sleep fulfilled. But:
- what’s the cost?
- what did you have to give up to achieve it?
- will be you be able to do the same tomorrow?
- for how long will you be able to keep that pace?
- how bad would it be if you postponed some of those tasks to tomorrow?
The designer side of me would like to, well, design every single moment of my day and strive for the most productive day. But I can’t deny that the best experiences I had were not planned, they just happened. All I had to do was getting distracted enough to say ‘yes’. And make room for them.
I wrangle often with the designer voice inside of me. I tell him that I need room to breathe and, most of all, to be bored and relaxed.
There’s a nice post by Sivers about relaxing while achieving results.
- When was the last time you enjoyed doing nothing productive?
- When was the last time you took a walk with no particular destination and without any electronic device?
- When was the last time you thought “I don’t know what do to next”?
Some of these sound like cursing to a productivity guru. I tried them all, recently. I am still alive and the world didn’t collapse. I haven’t lost money, nor health. I just enjoyed sprinkles of boredom during my days. And I’ll keep doing it.