Focus Is the Most Important Thing

Nov 29, 2020 17:58 · 293 words · 2 minute read

In the present world we live in, most products compete on the same market and for the same resource: our attention.

The usual suspects are facebook, twitter, reddit on your phone, netflix, hulu & friends on your other devices.

In the “more tolerated” category we have personal messaging: imessage, signal, whatsapp & messenger (hey again facebook).

The competition has recently extended to “workplace productivity”. This is a sneaky way of saying “social media, but at work”: slack, teams, email.

Companies like slack define engagement as minutes spent on slack. Few of us would however argue that the more minutes they spend on it, the more successful their day has been. Would you?

None of these companies taken in a vacuum is a big issue, however together they form a black hole of focus absorption. They chip away at our focus, 5 minutes at a time.

These products have become so good at nipping away at our attention, with their push notifications, red bubbles, and other growth engagement tactics, that there is very little room left for us to be our original selves.

This is a sad state of affairs, which can also be seen as an opportunity! The internet and more generally technology has normalized us humans. The playing field is more flat than ever, and the new critical differentiator is focus.

How many of us can read a book for 1h or more without checking their phone?

How many of us can produce a deep, original thought?

How many of us can just sit there at a restaurant without whipping the phone out when we are left at a restaurant table alone?

I assert: a ridiculously small amount.

We should pay more attention to this (pardon the pun), and check our behavior.

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