Along with the notes in the comic, I’ve tried a few other tricks to stay focused while working remote:
- Put on some quiet background music to play along with the video chat. I will typically go for some binaural meditation music, which seems to help with distraction.
- If I have other displays up (other laptops/phones/etc), close them!
In-person meetings are still tough, though. It’s very easy to think I can do more than one thing at once, and I just can’t.
Leader - “OK, tech team, let’s get this meeting going. Got a lot of slides to get through. Now, this will drive feature development for the next quarter…”
Bamboo - “OK, Bamboo, time to flex those tech lead muscles… Just gonna check Reddit real quick–”
“–and I have 85 tabs open with three videos playing–”
“And I just rewrote the backend data engoing to get a 5% speed increase–”
“…and now the meeting’s over and I have 30 more tabs open.”
“I hope those slides don’t need any context to understand!”
Bamboo’s Meeting Focus Tips
- Switch to an empty desktop
- Handwrite notes (even if you never use them!)
- Take notes in a Markdown document (quietly if on a mechanical keyboard!)