just focus

The internet is full of clickbait advertising ways to increase your productivity. They tend to be rather complicated hoop jumping activities that have never amount to much for me. The same is true for me in terms of getting stronger or trying to lose weight. What sells on the internet and owns a lot of real estate are the complicated flashy hacks of sorts that nearly always seem to be basically too good to be true. And so, I basically avoid those. Perhaps they work for you, but they do not work for me. And instead, I look for the boring basics. The boring basics – the simple things. The “pushups” of whatever domain it is I am exploring.

Ya know – you can get quite strong just doing pushups pullups etc. You can get quite lean just eating clean proteins and vegetables. That is basically the level of sophistication I think about things. Anything more complicated – anything more flashy or glittery or hoop jumping esque. It tends to be just wasted energy and unlikely to really stick for me.

It’s why I like running. Because running is quite simple. I just go outside, and start. No distractions. No excuses. Free energy principle is at bay. And there I am, doing the basics.

Noting how susceptible I am to finding excuses. I consider that I have quite strong will power. But even so, I find myself resulting to the lowest form of myself quite often. For instance, when I lived on a hill, I even found myself excuses for not running. I mean I still ran. But there were months where I wouldn’t. Because I’d be like the hill is too steep whatever. BS excuses. So now I live on flat land. And it’s cold out. But I still run. Because I refuse to accept excuses. There’s a line in the sand.

So I’ve been thinking about what are the hacks as it relates to my work productivity in terms of getting things done. Basically how can I get into a flow state and actually execute on a lot of work.

Not do a bunch of calls or set up a bunch of meetings. But do real, valuable work.

Progress.

And I think my formula is rather simple. It’s full of small things, that I have come up with for myself but some of them may be applicable to you.

For example, here are some that come to mind:

  • Workout in the morning. This means lift weights for at least 30 minutes and run for at least 30 minutes. Run outside.
  • Eat clean foods if you are going to eat. Most of your flow states will come in the morning. Don’t eat a lot before this. Maybe a protein shake and a banana. It’s fine if you are a little hungry. Actually maybe even if preferred. Your gut health impacts your performance quite materially. If you can capture flow from like 8 am to 10AM, you are doing something right.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Be in a public space. But wear noise canceling headphones.
  • Play lofi bad bunny or drake but lofi and play it rather loud. You can also play instrumental music.
  • Have a fully charged computer.
  • Have a fully charged phone. I feel like when it’s on low battery you just start to think about it.
  • Make sure your phone and computer are on do not disturb.
  • Set your timer. Either a physical timer like you have or digitally (just on google search 13 minute timer). Start using it to knock out tasks.
  • Keep a digital sticky note on your desktop. Before bed the night before, write out all the quick wins you can knock out. Start your day by knocking out wins. One of those things should be inbox zero on your email. Then ideally close out of email. Remove it from your doc.
  • Use the just focus chrome extension. And do that. Just focus. No texting. No whatsapp. Do everything else. Block out hackernews and bookface. Just focus. https://chromewebstore.google.com/detail/just-focus/gefaddaengbodpiobpbgblajdboalmgc?pli=1 (a chrome extension i helped make)
  • And then move on to the meat. once you’re in flow, go full screen on whatever it is you want to focus on. And just get to work.

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