November 11, 2020

Find tech solutions that make it easy for you to do hard things


The world wants to distract you.

In an economy where the scarcest resource you have is your attention, the business model of the universe has shifted from presenting information to manipulating brains.

Brands used to exist so they could help consumers, and now they seem to exist to distract them. He who gets the most eyeballs, wins.

But let’s not blame capitalists for trying to make money. They’re just doing their jobs.

The challenge is learning how to focus our decision making energy, rather than going through the day distracted by trivia.

Creative personalities struggle with this skill quite frequently. The nature of their right brained personalities is, they want to do everything. Thriving on novelty and dreaming, they get bored with repetition and often become unfocused and disorganized.

Which isn’t a good or a bad thing, it’s just who they are. Oftentimes it’s a feature, not a bug, depending on the kind of work they do and the intention with which they approach it.

But the danger of this personality is, you’re ripe for the picking in this distraction economy.

Like when the graphic designer spends her entire afternoon trapped in the seductive vortex of gathering inspiration on a digital clipping website, rather than executing her principal creative work.

Sorry to say, but that digital experience was expertly engineered to make her feel useful, satisfied and connected, but at the end of the day, it’s not a productive or healthy use of her time. Only doing the actual work is.

The good news is, for every piece of technology out there that’s tailor made to distract our attention, there’s another solution that can help focus it.

That’s the beauty of modern automation. Artificial intelligence, meaning any software that learns, has done for our generation what electricity did in the late eighteen hundreds. It’s a total paradigm shift that’s not incrementally better, but exponentially different.

Creative professionals can actually find tech solutions that make it easy for them to do hard things, rather than just feel less bored. As long as they choose more intentionally.

If you’re someone who finds themselves wasting hours of time on unproductive tasks that merely preserve the illusion of productivity, try this.

Before opening up a new tab on your browser, take a moment to ask a few compression questions.

Will this technology save me time by doing something so that I don’t have to?

Does using this platform reduce my level of complexity, friction or cognitive burden?

And can I quickly get what I need without exerting considerable skill or effort to pull all of the pieces together?

If the answer is yes, then knock yourself out.

If your problem can be solved right now, in a new technology based way, deploy your attention accordingly, get what you need, and then get back to work.

But if you get the feeling that a particular tool might consume more time than it saves, try something else.

How are you using technology to paint yourself into simple, life giving, stress avoiding, streamlined corners?