On our last show we had the good fortune of having the wonderful and talented Ron Clifford. He spoke very passionately on a topic that has been coming up more and more in my life recently as well, focus. In this ever changing world we as photographers find ourselves torn in many different directions. From Facebook to Google+ to 500px to Instagram and on and on it goes. So we decide to hop on our computer to edit some images, or write an article, but wait, that little red number in the corner tells me there is something to look at on Google+. There goes 20 minutes. Well, I can’t look at Google+ and not Facebook… there goes 15 minutes. While scrolling Google+ you see a nice picture from 500px and click on it… 30 minutes gone. It’s now been over an hour and you haven’t done a single thing.
At Daytripper photo we know the above scenario all too well. We call it squirreling (If you have ever seen the movie UP you will know what that means).
Ron had the great advice of leaving the computer at home and bringing nothing but a notepad. Great idea, not going to work for me, so I had to find a way to stay focused while still using the tools that help my creativity grow, my laptop.
Here are some great tips I came up with. I hope they can help you as much as they helped me!
What you'll need
- Chrome Browser HERE
- StayFocusd browser add on. HERE
- Youtube or Focus@Will Account.
Chrome because it’s awesome, but also because you can install the “Stay Focusd” browser extension. What does it do? It removes access to all websites except specific sites you set up in your whitelist. You can set how long to block all the sites so if you want to sit down for 45 minutes and focus, set the timer and enjoy the quiet. You can also set nuclear mode meaning you can’t turn it off until the timer runs out, no matter what. I have never used that mode, I’m not ready for that type of commitment.
YouTube or Focus @ Will:
These are two services I use a lot. Go to YouTube and search for “Relaxing Music” and you will find many three hour tracks of waves crashing on the shore, or a roaring fireplace or just classical music. We often put these on the TV during dinner to help relax us after our busy days. Nothing like the sound of California waves crashing on a beach during sunrise to wash the day away.
If you want something with a little higher production value, focus@will is amazing. To take the words from their own site:
Do you like to listen to music while you work?
Check out our neuroscience based music channels!
Increase attention span up to 400%
Effortlessly zone out distractions
There is a paid version, but the free account gives you an hour long track of Classical, Ambient, Water, White Noise and other sounds and music proven to help with concentration and focus.
To listen to the music silly!
I recommend Google Docs for writing as your documents are save letter for letter as you type so you don’t have to worry about being 55 minutes into a writing session and having Word crash and lose everything for you.
I hope this has helped give you some ideas and resources for focusing.
If you have any tips of your own, we would love to hear them.