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Focusing in a Distracted World - Forward 3 Web Summit

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Focusing in a Distracted World - Forward 3 Web Summit

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The modern day work environment. Cubicles have been replaced with open work spaces. Meeting rooms get turned into war rooms. We get bombarded with notifications from our computers and connected devices like phones, tablets, and smart watches. Week after week our days are filled with meaningful interruptions along with time sucking distractions. How do we ever get work done? Dealing with distractions at work can be difficult for anyone, but toss in ADHD and those distractions become magnified. Larry Gordon will walk you through his experience of being a software engineer with ADHD and will highlight some of the techniques and strategies that helps him stay productive and focused throughout the day.

The modern day work environment. Cubicles have been replaced with open work spaces. Meeting rooms get turned into war rooms. We get bombarded with notifications from our computers and connected devices like phones, tablets, and smart watches. Week after week our days are filled with meaningful interruptions along with time sucking distractions. How do we ever get work done? Dealing with distractions at work can be difficult for anyone, but toss in ADHD and those distractions become magnified. Larry Gordon will walk you through his experience of being a software engineer with ADHD and will highlight some of the techniques and strategies that helps him stay productive and focused throughout the day.

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Focusing in a Distracted World - Forward 3 Web Summit

  1. 1. Focusing in a Distracted WorldFocusing in a Distracted World ForwardJS - July 29, 2015ForwardJS - July 29, 2015
  2. 2. Hello Forward JSHello Forward JS
  3. 3. I'm a Creative Engineer with a passion for UX @psyrendust@psyrendustLarry GordonLarry Gordon
  4. 4. Types of DistractionsTypes of Distractions Thoughts Emotions Discomfort / Pain Hunger Just plain tired Digital notifications Phone calls Emails People Clutter InternalInternal ExternalExternal
  5. 5. I don't think I can do it!I don't think I can do it! Solutions are within reachSolutions are within reach
  6. 6. Self ReflectionSelf Reflection
  7. 7. Identify areas I would like to changeIdentify areas I would like to change 1. Whats the most important task I should be doing right now 2. Knowing when to say no and following through with it 3. Having trouble getting to work at a consistent time without feeling rushed 4. Not letting social networks suck up my time 5. Building a better routine 6. Finding quiet time at work 7. Rewarding myself often 8. Finding out what makes me thrive
  8. 8. 1. What is the most important task1. What is the most important task I should be doing right now?I should be doing right now? Using timers to break myself out of what I’m doing (controlled distraction) Stop what I’m doing and take a step back Ask myself "Is this task something I should be doing right now?" If not, observe my feelings and surroundings to understand why I’m doing this task If the task is important, put it in my task manager Find the task I should be working on and begin Rinse and repeat
  9. 9. 2. Knowing when to say2. Knowing when to say no andand following through with itfollowing through with it I like being helpful, and sometimes helping others can conflict with the task I'm currently doing If it's important, discuss it with management Reprioritize the new task against my current list of tasks It’s not just about saying no to other people Being able to say no to yourself
  10. 10. 3. Having trouble getting to work at a3. Having trouble getting to work at a consistent time without feeling rushedconsistent time without feeling rushed Started to time myself When did I wake up How long does it take me to get ready in the morning How long does it take me to leave my apartment and grab my bike? How long does it take me to bike to BART What time do I get to BART How crowded is it at this particular time? Can I get my bike on BART at this time? How long is my BART ride How long is my bike ride to work from BART? Realizing that getting to home is not the same as getting to work
  11. 11. 4. Not letting social4. Not letting social networks suck up my timenetworks suck up my time I only check them during micro gaps When I’m on my commute When I’m waiting in line for something Anytime I have a few minutes between something
  12. 12. 5. Building a better routine5. Building a better routine Used all of my time tracking notes Placed an event in my calendar for each thing I was doing Waking up Getting ready for work Commuting to work Lunch Commuting to home Decompressing Making dinner Eating dinner Time with my wife Getting ready for bed Sleeping
  13. 13. 5. Building a better routine5. Building a better routine I could look at my calendar and know if I was off my routine If I was consistently off I would adjust my routine to account for it Rinse and repeat until it became a habit
  14. 14. 6. Finding quiet time at work6. Finding quiet time at work
  15. 15. 6. Finding quiet time at work6. Finding quiet time at work I observed that it was quiet at work before 8:30am and after 4pm I adjusted my routine to get to work at 6:30am I became super productive work No external distractions I didn’t check email, use social networks, or web surf Worked on my toughest tasks that required the most concentration Noise canceling headphones!
  16. 16. 6. Finding quiet time at work6. Finding quiet time at work Negotiated with my manager on a better place to sit (an area with less foot traffic) Moved to a corner seat vs in the middle of all of the teams Not quite as visible so people were less likely to just bother me for little things Worked on getting recurring meetings moved so that it doesn’t break up the day as much Worked on instituting no meeting Tuesdays and Wednesdays Blocked off the rest of my free time in my calendar as work time If someone wanted to schedule something with me they would have to ask me first
  17. 17. 7. Rewarding myself often7. Rewarding myself often Trying to create a new routine is tough Make a long term goal Decide on a reward for when that larger goal is complete Also make smaller short term goals Decide on a reward for those short term goals too Take a larger or tough task and break it down to smaller achievements Then take a moment to reward yourself after you complete each one Make sure to enjoy it Build up a positive experience
  18. 18. 8. Finding out what makes me thrive8. Finding out what makes me thrive Observe my patterns What was it that made me energetic? Could I find a job doing that? Could I make adjustments in my current job to make me happy?
  19. 19. Change is difficultChange is difficult It won't be easyIt won't be easy
  20. 20. Don't Give Up!Don't Give Up!
  21. 21. #FocusingInADistractedWorld Larry Gordon Thank you!Thank you! @psyrendust http://psyrendust.com

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