|Productive||Necessary Work||Purposeful Work|
|Unproductive||Unnecessary Work||Distracting Work|
There are tasks that can be grouped together and worked on simultaneously but
Habits create automated tasks but can help reduce mental load and get more done.
Best way to reset between focused sessions is by doing automated tasks (chores).
Attentional space is limited.
If major task is Purposeful ie., Productive & Attractive, then likelihood of multitasking is low.
For this reason it is better to reduce load by reducing stimulus. This avoids feeling overwhelmed or become forgetful.
For example: While returning home after a day's work, your brain wants to process the day's happenings. Instead of giving it the required space, you use that time to listen to podcasts or other cognitive heavy tasks, your mind will feel crowded by the time you reach home.
Note: Also consider that you need to navigate back home via driving or such and this is partly automated task.
Be mindful of your mind & body. If it is drifting or unable to function with full capacity, you most likely have other things on your mind.
Being mindful of self, being deliberate and working with intention helps us to be productive ie., accomplish what we want to achieve.
We can have thoughts from a task floating in our Attentional Space even when we are done with it (Attention Residue).
Having explicit & reasonable Definition of Done for Purposeful Tasks can help avoid Attention Residue.
This is because we no longer have an option to go back and tinker with our work. Not surprising :: Paradox of Choice
Big tasks which require large amounts of focus can still leave Attention Residue even upon completion.
For this reason, it is recommended to take some reason to reset the brain and flush out the residue.
Productive & fulfilling work are a byproduct of deliberation & intentionality.
Just like with meditation/mindfulness, we can get our focus back on track by asking these questions:
Quality of purposeful work is directly proportional to focus applied.
Quality of habitual work is inversely proportional to focus applied.
Set three "intentions" or goals to achieve
Before starting the day with intentional work, it is important to ask
Do the tasks in my quadrants align with these questions?
Answering emails (immediate productivity) vs. Writing a guide for new joiners (long term productivity)
To keep track of our intentionality.
Questions to ask
Success with Intentions
Intentions helps with achieving goals.
Vague intentions are better than no intentions.
Specific implementation* Intentions are more likely to be achieved.
* I find the term dorky. I will use Actionable Intentions.
Environmental/Situational cues can help trigger actionable intents. ie., turn them into habits [:see AtomicHabits]
Note: Quite similar to Pomodoro Technique [:see PomTec]
Impulsiveness is highly correlated to procrastination. (In focus context?)
Having specific slots for non-deep work and even rewarding self with distracting work can become useful. [:see AtomicHabits]
Skimmed/Skipped rest of Chapter 4. Did not find much else useful.
If your day is filled with lot of busy work, stress/boredom; It might be time to start picking up more complex tasks. This would allow Purposeful work & Hyperfocus to kick in.
The reason Hyperfocus felt similar to meditation is because Author has been meditating for over a decade.
Meditation seems to improve working memory capacity.
The act of meditation is simple
Sit with eyes closed and try not to let your mind wander
Author provides the steps for breathing meditation.
Take some time before Hyperfocus to meditation*. Point being to make it a daily habit.
* - Can be from a minute or two to a decent chunk of time.
Mindfulness is different & less intimidating than meditation.
Mindfulness is about becoming conscious of all that's happening around you as you perform the task/action.
Mindfulness asks following questions
Hyperfocus is about getting immersed in the moment/work/task.
Meditating on smaller objects makes it easier mind to wander.
Practice of bringing mind back helps train Hyperfocus and do more deep work.
It is our animal nature to turn our actions into autopilot. To work by instinct.
Mindfulness makes us aware of what is being pushed to autopilot. Meditation helps us become pure mind/consciousness.
Hyperfocus makes us intentional with our actions for most important tasks/actions.
One way to clear mind for better focus is by writing down stuff that pops in the mind using various lists like
Mind wanders into three topics
Mind also wanders into three places
12% of our time is spent on negative events.
Remainder is spent thinking about present & future.
This has to be during a day, otherwise how will the mind know to divide the time allotted to it to wander with described bounds?
Otherwise, there is a minimum time to be spent in Scatterfocus mode.
Most of the Future-Wandering is about Planning.