Distraction Elimination Week: Day 4: Visual Field

There are 2 major visual field distrations; inside the monitor, outside the monitor.

First, inside the monitor:
Since 1997, my desktop background has been “Solid Gray Medium”. I’ve played with other shades of gray, but always found SGM to be the most neutral, keeping the focus on the applications I’m working in and making screenshots very easy. I’ve seen backgrounds that cycle through a photo library or show pictures of kids or pets. All of those are terribly distracting for me, especially since I don’t own any pets.

More recently, I’ve introduced a ‘clean out’ folder. This folder has 2 purposes; be the only thing on the desktop, be empty. The former is much more common than the latter. This is the ‘download folder’ for all browsers and where I send interesting URLs, text clippings, etc. It’s my non-email inbox. Like my email, I sort the items of my ‘clean out’ directory in reverse chronological order. Far easier than hunting down things in a cluttered Desktop.

Now, outside the monitor
This is the stuff in your office that peaks into your visual field. The door that’s not quite shut, the flickering light, the crocked picture, the pile of papers. There are 2 very effective ways to solve this problem; get a bigger monitor to hide them, actually getting out of your chair and fixing the things that are bugging you.

I encourage both approaches, as both will calm you make you ask yourself, “why haven’t I done this sooner?”