145: Focus & Your Environment

This episode may or may not have created an entire “Things to Buy” mood board for future office things.

Would it be appropriate for the focused community to post desk pictures here relevant to this episode? I know there’s an MPU thread but it seems relevant. Or should we do another thread inside the focused subcategory?

Very timely episode. I haven’t been able to get much of anything done for the last few days. I get in the zone working, things accumulate, and I don’t really even see them.




“Computers these days are not engineered to help you work. They’re engineered to sell your attention to third parties. The whole underlying premise of technology has changed underneath our feet–and I think as people who use these things, we have to wrest control back, and we have to do whatever it takes to help us keep the focus. The reason we make this show is because I think it’s a big deal, and I don’t think enough people have got their eyes on the ball.”

Wow! What do you all think? What has been your experience? When we booted up our computers back in the day, we faced a blinking cursor and an otherwise blank screen. Even though we had less power, there was, in some ways, a greater sense of greater control.

David makes his comment in the context of discussing our digital environments, explaining why he takes the time to optimize the set-up of the digital tools needed for different tasks and why he takes the time to automate those set-ups. He also discusses why he thinks the new focus mode tool is helpful, but he does not want to stray too far into MPU or Automators’ territory.

I would have loved to hear more follow-up.

(One of my frustrations with how the “underlying premises of technology” may “have changed” is that if I want to engage with any content that I didn’t personally create, even if I “own” it, as with books on Kindle, I have to pass through a storefront.)

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