Blog, Career strategy

Leadership hack: how to focus and drive innovation in a distracted world

Our jobs are increasingly based on innovation rather than manual labor. These include all kinds of things – ideas, concepts, problem-solving, creativity – all of those things that are sort of loosely defined as Intellectual Property (IP) or knowledge work. Now, these ideas and these creativities, they require a deep focus. They require us to put all the 120 bits of conscious thinking that we have to work.


However, we live today in a world of distractions. The latest email, the IM, the tweet, the latest Slack message, all of those things are contributing to a world that is not only full of distraction, but it seems like the level of distraction is going up by the day.

In a highly distracted world, everybody around you is distracted. Your teams are distracted, your customers, everyone, even your competition is distracted. Here’s your opportunity. Your opportunity is to do deep work using focus. My recommendation for doing deep work with focus is to go old school.


I like to use graph paper and a trusted Pilot G2 pen. And that’s where I can apply most of the 120 bits of conscious thinking towards a particular topic. Now, what does this do for you? This opens up opportunities for you to prepare better, to conceptualize, to create, to think, and quite frankly, to plan. And these are the things that will not only help you be better prepared, but they will set you apart.

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