1) The goal
My plan for this post:
- Free write for 25 minutes
- Try to get to 7 links
That will be an outline to talk about as a solo episode where I can talk about each of the things for 3 minutes so it’ll be about a 21-minute episode. There is, of course, the thing that this won’t be good the first time around. Which could be okay, assuming that’s the path toward making things actually are good.
I’ll need to vary these things in some way. Maybe in the future. Anyway. Let’s renumber that as bullet #1 to talk about.
2) UFC lately
Okay so some things that come to mind, UFC lately. There’s that whole decision making thing where Dan White took a lot of heat leading up to these live events but it seems to be paying off. The events are entertaining. It doesn’t seem like everyone’s getting sick. That said, I’m not an expert in this at all. I’ve looked forward to the fights and that’s my takeaway.
What can I link to here? I wrote about some book quotes from different fighting books this week.
3) Counter-Strike thoughts
In that post I linked to Mark Hunt streaming while playing Counter-Strike. I’m just always pumped to hear about some celebrity playing Counter-Strike. Which is popular but it never had a place in popular culture like Call of Duty or Fortnite. It’s just not as easy to pick up.
My first impression playing CS (1.3 briefly but probably spent most of my time playing 1.4 or 1.5) was that I had no idea what I was doing. It wasn’t deathmatch right away.
A bunch of my favorite memories in high school involve playing Counter-Strike. That said, the very best memories involving Counter-Strike were in-person interactions. Aka we’d seatbelt our towers and monitors and have LAN parties at each other’s houses. It was great.
4) Streaming thoughts
Seeing streaming take off has been really fascinating in the past decade. I wrote about it in this post about Tobi Lutke — I used to download Korean VODs to watch Starcraft with commentary. But I never thought watching other people playing games would become as big as it has.
I watched an Animal Crossing stream for half an hour the other night. It was just someone visiting islands talking about what he liked and didn’t like. Nice, relaxing content.
5) Transitioning off my ultrawide
Hot take: didn’t like my ultrawide! Can’t see how people use the super large ones. I can see people using what I had, a 34″.
I found it too big to get focused on things in most cases. But I was able to focus enough to see how it could be really useful in most cases for many people.
But those 50″ monitors… I’m very very very skeptical that it helps productivity. Unless you’re doing day trading or something like that. I guess you could have Spotify open off to the side or something like that.
Again, I’m not saying dual monitors or smaller ultrawides aren’t useful. Writing code in one and having the output in the other is a natural workflow that clearly benefits from having multiple monitors.
But the ones that end up being like 3 or 4 side by side where you need to turn your neck to even read anything on the far ends…
I feel like I’m being a hater now. Next bullet.
6) Fixing my focus
Working directly on my laptop has helped quite a bit. I’ve also started using the 27″ that I had and that’s been keeping me focused also. I’ve got a long way to go though. There’s some value to blocking sites but the eventual thing is that I then find some other distracting site to visit all the time. I blocked Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, CNN, ESPN, Slickdeals and then started checking Macrumors and Daring Fireball all the time. Initially this was to keep an eye on 16-inch rumors, then the launch info, and then to read different reviews about it. But I just stuck to the habit after all of that.
I think I’d be better off refreshing ESPN over and over instead of tech news.
There are some digital environments where I can stay pretty focused though. Docs and Figma usually work pretty well if I can get past the first few minutes of wanting to distract myself from other things.
Writing longhand on my iPad with GoodNotes is another way for me to get focused. Procreate as well.
But something I’ve been thinking about is that I can absolutely focus on a Starcraft match. Just 15-30 minutes (and 45-60 minutes once in a while) of pure focus. I’m not checking other things. Not thinking about checking other things. And when there’s a lot of activity going on, I’m not thinking about anything else at all.
I wonder if that’s a good thing.
It’d be great if I could apply that kind of locked in focus in other things that I do. Breaking it down I think there are a few things:
- There’s always something interesting to be doing. The first minute has some waiting around for peons to build but after that you can pretty much keep moving the entire time.
- There’s an agreement that you can’t pause the thing until the games over. Things can wait. Which is true for many other things in life. That email can wait. That text can wait. Rarely are things as urgent as they can seem.But not every task has the agreement that a timed game has. You can get back to life after the game is over, or the other thing is important enough that you quit the game to get to it. It’s much more clear than shifting your attention to some other thing for a minute to spray the fire with a little bit of water and then you’ll get back to it later.
I wrote the above 1000 words in a focused 25 minute block (in Docs on my laptop with no external monitor, for what it’s worth).
I’ll keep working at it.
(Now to record this thing!)