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Daan's thoughts on work "spaces"

posted Aug 27, 2009, 3:52 AM by daan@projectvolunteering.net   [ updated Aug 27, 2009, 4:46 AM by paul.b@projectvolunteering.net ]
*note this is very work in progress.

I feel I have some experiences training myself in being concentrated for several hours at a time. Please don't consider this guidelines, they are just my thoughts. Feel free to substitute "programming" in the next text with "study", "meditate", "read", or "make sweet love next to the fireplace"

Focus

In general, you're trying to do one thing and one thing only. If I really want to program, I don't want to be doing any other thing:
  • Monitor my emails by the minute (I'm not that important)
  • Make sure I know where my couch surfing friend logged in last
  • Check who came in the house
Of course I will interrupt my work to say hi to Clayton when he comes home. I'm not a fascist. But, in general:

AFTER AN INTERRUPTION OF MORE THAN 2 MINUTES ,UNRELATED TO WHAT I'M DOING, IT TAKES ME MORE THAN 20 MINUTES TO GET BACK UP TO SPEED.

So, in general, if you find you have bad focus, try shutting down any electronic interrupters (email, rss, facebook, messenger). If you find yourself opening them without reason, you don't have a focus problem. You have a motivation problem. I'm not that important I can't wait 3 hours to reply to ppl.

Light

You need light. It helps you keep awake, and motivated.

Light can also be a clean desk. A dirty desk makes it more difficult to "see" what you are doing, creates a barrier to add another book/paper, and adds unnecessary distractions to your eye.

Multitasking

If you think you're good at it, you're not.
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