The art of dedicated focus.

A practice that some people in the world spend their entire life trying to master. 

In the digital economy our attention is in constant demand and at times it may feel like it has been hijacked.

As I am writing this I am sitting in a plane, high above the ground, looking out over a white cloud base that extends as far as the eye car see. Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a bird and look down over everything that is on the go?

In our day to day life we are drawn into may discussions, thoughts, meetings, articles and many other things… You get the picture,  our attention is always in demand.

So, how can we focus on the task at hand and minimise the distraction? The answer I believe lies in asking more “why questions”. This may sound counter intuitive when you first read it and think about it, but give me a moment to explain.

When we ask “why questions”, we are asking ourselves to think deeper, to think in a problem-solving way, and it makes us consider alternatives. By asking “why”, we are focusing in on the specifics that we need to address or answer. We are scrapping away the fluff and zoning in on what actually needs to be focused on. In asking specific questions we  are also formulating our response so that it can be more efficient.

One of the things that I enjoy most about listening to podcasts is that they provide us with the ability to learn from leading thinkers, whom we may never meet face to face, and benefit from their years of experience.

Below is a conversation that Tim Ferris had with Nick Kokonas. It really drove my thinking around this space of focus and concentrated my attention on how we can ask better why questions.

#341: Nick Kokonas — How to Apply World-Class Creativity to Business, Art, and Life

You may also enjoy this conversation (#133 — Globalism on the Brink) that Sam Harris had with Ian Bremmer about the failure of globalism and rise of populism. They discuss immigration, trade, automation, wealth inequality, Trump, identity politics and other topics.

Here are a few interesting reads that you may enjoy.

Beep Beep: The History of George Laurer and the Barcode

Five ways that ESG creates value To focus, let’s ask more why questions. A reminder that this doesn’t necessarily mean verbally asking more questions, you can ask questions in the way that you think.