Looking back at my calendar over the past year, I can see that those periods when I’ve had more focus are the ones where I’ve been able to overcome challenges that had been haunting me for a long time. About two years ago, one of my monthly challenges was to implement the tomato timer or Pomodoro technique and try to reach at least 100 tomatoes a month of focus. This was a game changer. This month, I’m running a new version of this experiment to see how much of an affect it can have.
There seems to be a growing of wave on the importance of focus in bringing back meaning to life. People are now starting a “technology Shabbat” where they have no screen time for 24 hours per week. The big podcasters like Sam Harris, Kevin Rose, Tim Ferriss, and Joe Rogan all talk about the importance of meditation. Apple and Google start to look at the health consequences of being glued to your device.
About a year ago, one of my monthly experiments was around meditation. That, combined with carving out one-task-at-a-time, opened my eyes to getting into a state of flow during the day. On days when I’ve had 10+ tomato sessions, I feel like I’m coming out of a float tank and all inputs seem much stronger.
While there is a deep fear of not being contactable (missing the latest or being left out of the conversation), perhaps we need to remove our expectation for immediate responses, even during a perceived crisis. We need to allow ourselves to focus more and for those around use to do the same. We’ll benefit from this, even if it won’t quench or immediate desire for a reply.