The ultimate way to remove distractions

By David Mytton,
CEO & Founder of Server Density.

Published on the 6th October, 2010.

Viewpoint near Heda (Suruga Bay)

I just finished watching Tea & the Art of Life Management, a 1 hour video discussion about dealing with the never-ending flow of information, communication and distractions. As a startup founder, I have to deal with the kind of things they’re talking about (although nowhere near the level I’m sure Tim Ferriss gets!) and it made me think of some time I spent in Japan over the summer.

This year I have travelled more in a short space of time than I have over many years. I like travelling and seeing new places and I was lucky that business has required me to go to places like San Francisco, Miami, New York, Dublin, Paris and London. However, I also managed to take a trip to Japan for 3 weeks in July/August to get away and explore on my own. This was an amazing experience for so many reasons but I now realise it was also the ultimate way to remove distractions.

Japan is +9 hours ahead of UTC which essentially means that when it’s daytime in Japan, it’s night in Europe and the US (for the most part). This meant that I could spend time exploring without interruption because all sources of distraction were asleep! I could catch up for just a short amount of time before I went to sleep and when I woke up, leaving hours and hours free. You’d think you would miss out on events as they happen, but do you really need that real time stream?

Of course it’s all very well going to another country but there are plenty of ways to achieve similar results whilst staying home: controlling when you access Twitter, how often you check your e-mail (and using GMail’s priority inbox), disabling all but critical push alerts (e.g. from Server Density!) and practicing the art of letting bad things happen. Many people have written about this so if it’s new to you, start with the video and see what difference it makes.

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