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The Rule of Three or how to bring your focus back to life

This is an idea I borrowed from the writing principle rule of three.

While programming, photo editing or playing around with design software I often catch myself losing attention. 10 seconds ago I was writing some badass backend code and the next moment I find myself watching weird cat videos from the darkest corners of the internet. What is happening?

Well in my case, my attention span lies where you would look for your great grandmother. Below surface.

If you’re like me you probably use CMD+Tab (or Alt+Tab) to switch between your applications (and have notifications activated, if so, do your focus a favour and go on a notification withdrawal).

And this is where the nightmare begins.

How many apps do you see when you hit that wonderfully useful keyboard combination? Five? Ten? Jesus. Let me help you resurrect your attention span from the dead as I did with mine. All we need is some discipline and the rule of three.

Close all applications and windows except for the three you need for getting things done. If you need less, good. If you need more, well, bad luck I guess. The joke is to close all the applications which have a potential to disrupt your workflow. This way we eliminate those attention seeking black holes and your attention span can dig its way back up. The key behind all of this is to be consistent about it.

If you need to open up another app for a short task close it right after you’re finished with it. And be sure to put away those team chat applications. They are the worst. Remember the weird cat video from the beginning? Yep, comes right from your chief procrastinating officer co-worker.

One last time: Discipline and only three open apps are the key to a better focus. Use this wisdom. Your great grandmother needs some rest.

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Me by Daniel Puglisi