This is part of my Tech Workers' Guide To Distraction Free Work
I hate it when I feel stuck on project at work. I feel uneasy but can’t pinpoint the exact problem.
After years of working, I think I found the problem: feeling stuck results from not having the information I need. To make matters worse, I’m not even clear on what information is missing. This unknown missing info is called “unknown unknowns.”
The following questions help me uncover pesky unknown unknowns:
- Who are the relevant stakeholders for this project?
- What does each of them want?
- How will this make their life better?
- How often do they expect updates?
- Who will work on this with me?
- When does it need to be delivered?
- Is this possible?
- Is it negotiable?
- What does success look like for this project?
- How will I know when I’m materially done?
- Where will it be delivered?
Once I know all of my questions, I can get answers, and move forward.
Take action: Get unstuck on your current project by making a list of questions.
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.”