Episode 47 - Unpacking Focus

UD - Episode 47 - Unpacking Focus.jpg

What does it mean to stay focused in our lives and what does it look like? In the 21st century, we’re constantly being bombarded by information, tasks to complete, and simultaneously working between multiple projects. What if we distilled 10 of our highest priority projects down to only 1 and spent all of our time completing it? How does time and experience allow us to focus on multiple projects at the same time?

Mike and Tim talk about how designers are always coming up with new ideas for projects that they pursue and oftentimes, we’re blindsided by these potential projects. Mike talks about the importance of building habits and the discipline that help us stay focused on the projects that we’re working on. Although it might be hard, we need to be able to let ideas go so that we can focus on the one at hand.

Mike talks about how reinforcing positive habits and removing negative ones has helped build his focus on completing his projects. Mike shares a story about removing his gaming console from his home office to his living room and organizing his office to feel like a place conducive to working. Tim shares a story about realizing how much coffee and espresso he used to drink, the time he wasted standing in lines, and how he decided one day to stop drinking it altogether.

Their discussion ends on the idea of practicing and building our skills by focusing all our attention on one project. Eventually, we’ll be at a point where we build the habits that allow us to focus on two projects, then three, and so on. Those habits help us save time by repeating similar motions or resolving common design issues in less time. They use an analogy of a beginner cooking with multiple pots on a stove top versus a skilled chef preparing the same meals. One has enough experience to be able to juggle multiple pots on a stove as opposed to the other who doesn’t inherently know the various issues that will arise and require attention.

Learn more about how Mike and Tim have built positive habits to stay focused in this episode.

Thank you for listening to Unpacking Design!

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