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The100: Improving focus, the world’s oldest companies and Boris Becker

In the spirit of a New Mexican monk

Email has long siphoned my focus into a cavity of distraction. 

Yet I’m not convinced that burning my inbox is the sea-parting solution many have been calling for. Not just because I’d have a hard time setting my laptop on fire, but we’d also simply replace it with something else (Slack, I’m looking at you).

Oliver Burkeman, however, has a more practical monk-certified way to manage our focus: 

Ringfence three or four hours of undisturbed focus […] Drop the perfectionistic notion that emails, meetings, digital distractions and other interruptions ought ideally to be whittled away to practically nothing. Just focus on protecting four hours – and don’t worry if the rest of the day is characterised by the usual scattered chaos

More phone booths

Many offices are taking the Prius approach to reopening their doors, with a hybrid mix of office and home based working. But, according to the Financial Times, companies need to issue clear guidance for this method to work. 

For meetings with workers who are split between home and the office, Quora […] is recommending that everyone joins meetings from their own laptop [no matter their location]. Adam D’Angelo, Quora’s CEO, says it ‘is a much better experience for everyone in the meeting since they can see everyone’s face clearly, ensures everyone is on a level playing field … and prevents the side conversations and crosstalk that make remote employees feel excluded’.

We’re tinkering with dedicated days for in person activities here at WMT Towers. What’s the Great Return looking like for you, if at all?

“Nothing fancy, though we did have snow leopard decor”

Now both of these are properly fascinating… 

The team at Rest of the World spoke to and photographed people from 9 different countries about what it’s been like working from home.

Whilst Paula Zuccotti asked folk from around the world to photograph their 15 lockdown essentials. 

Apples. Apples everywhere. 

I binned off my Mac a couple of years ago now, but I still enjoyed this on the Mac Chimes of Death. And if you know the Mac startup sound, try listening to ‘A Day in the Life’ by the Beatles. Apparently the final cord at 4m 20 inspired it (h/t Ian Leslie). Niche. Love it.

Thank goodness my phone wasn’t charged

Carolyn Barclay spent 6 hrs in hospital with a phone that had run out of charge. 

Somehow she lived to tell the tale. 

Those 6 hours became a window into the world, a people-watching-marathon without distraction. It’s a good story. I’m actually quite envious, minus the busted chin. 

Kongō Gumi Co., Ltd.

A map! Again! Yay! This one shows the oldest companies that are still in existence in (almost) every country around the world. 

It appears longevity in business is linked to banks and booze. 

Reading Becker

And finally, Andre Agassi looked at Boris Becker’s tongue to determine what way he was going to serve. It’s not only the brilliance of identifying that behaviour, but the skill in not revealing it or using that knowledge all the time. Magnificent.