In the world we live in, most products compete for the same market: our attention.
The usual suspects are facebook, twitter, pinterest, reddit on your phone, netflix, hulu & friends on your other devices.
In the more tolerated category we have personal messaging: imessage, whatsapp & messenger (hey again facebook), and co.
The competition has extended to “workplace productivity” which is sneaky way of saying “social media, but at work”: slack, teams, email.
Companies like slack internally define engagement as minutes spent on slack. Few people would argue that the more minutes they spend on slack, 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 focus absorbing black hole, 5 minutes of your attention at a time.
These products have become so good at nipping away at our attention, one push notification or red bubble at a time, that there is very little room left for you to be your original self and achieve a state of focus for longer periods of time.
This is a sad state of affairs, but also can be seen as an opportunity! The internet and the tech boom has normalized us humans like nothing ever has. The new differentiator that matters most 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?
A ridiculously small amount.
We should pay more attention to this (pardon the pun), and update our behavior.
What are some ways to get back to focus levels that we once achieved? This is a personal question and if you care, I invite you to think about what your answer is.