I am Daniela, join me in the journey of uncovering creativity from the perspective of an unconventional designer

Focus, focus focus!

Focus, focus focus!


I keep a very irregular pattern of reading, listening to podcasts and watching videos. However, every now and then, I come across the same (or very similar) topic from different media (and not necessarily from the internet because this wouldn't be a coincidence, would it?).

The latest topic that I have been seeing around a lot is FOCUS. And what I mean by that is: avoiding distractions, especially when related to work, productivity, and even creativity. You'll need some of it to read the following 3 takeaways that have stayed with me about this topic (LITTLE CHALLENGE: Try not to click on the hyperlinks until the end of the post).

1. Don't break your focus

The idea behind avoiding to break your focus is being able to actually be focused for a long period of time and achieve some results and outcomes from it. I got this insight from Brian Johnson's summary of the book Deep Work by Cal Newport, here are some good pieces of advice to be able to achieve this:

  • By not breaking the focus streak, you will get a creativity rhythm and you will build some brain muscle
  • Put yourself some constraints or deadlines to make sure you deliver
  • Work on a project that gets you "wildly excited", so you are in the flow and naturally avoid distractions
  • Avoid splitting your attention into many parts (projects, meetings, calls, etc.) during your day, this will lead to what Newport calls "attention residue", which happens when you don't have a proper closure to each topic, and you continue thinking about the previous topic
  • Finally, learn how to identify when you are tired, and how to rest, not quit

2. Find ideas and solutions inside your head!

Manoush Zomorodi gives a Ted talk about how boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas, this is a very inspiring talk about how we never have idle time anymore, we are always checking our devices while waiting in line, having lunch or commuting. We seldom give our minds a break to analyze and digest the information or situations that happen around us.

Our brains need those "off" moments when going into autopilot mode, for our thoughts to go into our subconscious and solve problems, plan and set goals. Zomorodi says that if we have never experienced boredom, there could be consequences in the decrease of creativity.

3. Be mindful of how you are using your devices (and social media)

As Manoush said in the previous TED talk, if we don't decide how to use technology, the platforms will decide for us.  In this TED talk Quit social media, Cal Newport discusses how we could be better of without social media.

So what do these affirmations come down to? Our devices and social media accounts need to be controlled by us and not the other way around. In not doing so, our attention can be distracted from what is really important and this can even prevent us from doing work that requires more focus done in an efficient way. 

For more information about this topics, check the links to each video (if you haven't already, that means that you won the challenge!).

Feel identified? Leave a comment below :)

Day of Learning at World Design Event @Eindhoven

Day of Learning at World Design Event @Eindhoven

What happened at our Day of Learning?

What happened at our Day of Learning?