I’ve always been a pretty calm, easy-going person. However, I’m somewhat of an extrovert and pretty addicted to this whole internet thing. That combo will wreak havoc on your ability to focus on work. There are lots of posts out there with cool systems like checking email twice a day, the pomodoro technique, and various ways of minimizing distractions.
Rather than minimizing distractions, I wanted to focus on the ability to work in spite of them. One thing that has really been helping with this has been meditation. I was originally really curious about it when I read in Offscreen Magazine that Ryan Singer regularly meditates. If you’ve never had the benefit of hearing Ryan speak, he is a very deep thinker and can explain things down to a very granular level. So, I gave it a try.
It is wonderful and has provided way more benefits than just helping with focus. I cannot recommend it enough. I know it sometimes has a religious connotation, but it really shouldn’t. As with most beneficial things, it is easy to get started and challenging to keep doing regularly. You’ll find countless posts, videos, books, etc. on techniques but it’s really easy to get started. Ready to give it a whirl?
Don’t overthink it, just try this for a week. Sit somewhere comfortable, close your eyes and try to only think about breathing in and out. When other thoughts and distractions come in, it’s totally cool that you start drifting away. Once you realize you did, bring your focus back on your breathing. Set a timer and do this for 10 minutes a day for a couple days. Then do 20 minutes for a few more.
If you don’t love it by the end of the week, mark me down on your list of people who owe you a beer or a coffee the next time you see them.