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Get clarity. Feel good. Focus. 2021-01-07 23:55:21

Focus hasn't been my strength. I flit around from idea to idea both in work and in my browser. YouTube algorithms probably have something to do with it, but natural curiosity and the joy of learning are also to blame.

In college, I'd go to the library to study. While learning about mitosis for biology, I might read about research done by a scientist that would send me into the stack to go deep. I'd return to the table with selections from nearby shelves, each title promising some relevant nugget. I wanted to go deeper and connect more dots.

In my career, all I ever wanted was to figure out how to have complete time freedom - and now I understand why. I want to be able to open a dozen interesting books rather than have to prepare for only a single test. The same is true with blog posts or videos. It's all so interesting. It's also a bad habit.

When you can't focus on something long enough, the results simply won't reveal themselves. Imagine trying to make cookies but forgetting to actually bake them after you've mixed the ingredients and waited for the dough to chill — no cookies. The same is true if you want to build a bigger project but can only attend to it a couple of days in a row — no project.

I'm heartened to see Adagia come to life because it's more than a weekend worth of focus and even if it never gets better, it's working fine now. There is good news for me too.

The solution to this affliction, I've figured out, is to not beat myself up. I now embrace the curiosity but have better habits with regard to work. Before I start work, I do what it takes to gain clarity and feel good. Then, I approach work methodically and focus. So far it's working out. I'll never have to worry about being the richest man, but I've already got a life I really enjoy. 

What are your secrets?


More from Brian Ball

What to Write

Get clarity. Feel good. Focus.
No cookies but at least you have cookie dough! Some would argue that's as good or better than the cookies. I don't know if I have any secrets, but I am learning about Essentialism as a way to narrow down my focus. I should pick up where I left off with those summaries I wrote on the previous platform.
2021-01-08 00:32:45
Do you have a longer term goal of being able to steward/shepard your curiosity in a manner where it is aligned with a focused long-term goal? I feel like that is the sweet spot for people like ourselves.
2021-01-08 01:18:35