This is part of my Tech Workers' Guide To Distraction Free Work
Which belongings create stress in my life? This could relate to maintenance costs (money and energy), insurance, monthly expenses, time consumption, or simple distraction. Eliminate, eliminate, eliminate.
“The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss
In my late teens and through my 20s, I accumulated numerous computer parts and cables, e.g., parallel cables, power cords, dead hard drives, network cards, etc.
I held on to each item because “future Stewie” was going to rebuild this computer and restore that hard drive. Each item took up space in my office, on my shelves, and in my storage bins. Worse yet, each item took up space in mind as an unfinished project. And unfinished projects are distracting.
In my 30s, I made a change. I designated one black bin for extra power cords, surge protectors, and extension cords. And a second black bin for every other kind of cable. I discarded dead drives and cables that didn’t fit in my two bins.
Consequently, I have far fewer unfinished projects to distract me. And my wife is happy that our is home is not overrun with computer equipment.
Take action: Take an inventory of unfinished projects and eliminate ones that are only hopes and dreams.
Tech Workers' Guide To Distraction Free Work
Practices: Just Say No
- Just say No
- Stop Looking For Drama
- Beware Of Taking On Extra Responsibility
- Make an “I won’t do” list
Practices: Say Yes
- Track your distractions
- Stay focused with a To Do list
- Make a “Big Rock” list
- Follow the 2-minute rule
- Try the Pomodoro Technique
- Make a list of questions
Practices: Control Your Physical Environment
- Find your Den of Productivity
- Eliminate distracting belongings
- Limit disruptive noise
- Listen to music
- Silence your phone
Practices: Control Your Digital Environment
- Close your email
- Leave social media
- Close your browser tabs
- Limit distractions from Slack
- Try an app blocker
Practices: Get Organized
What do books say about distraction free work?
“You could try to pound your head against the wall and think of original ideas — or you can cheat by reading them in books.”