Find Out Where Your Attention Goes
How to make the invisible visible by performing a demand analysis.
Dominica DeGrandis reminds us why schools and offices have whiteboards.
We get more information through vision than through all the other senses combined. Of the estimated 100 billion neurons in our brains, approximately 20% are for processing visual information. You can use that biological fact to your advantage by making the invisible, visible.
A "demand analysis" is an exercise DeGrandis recommends for software teams. The purpose is to identify the types of work the team does and the pain that's associated with each type. Identifying each type of work unearths the source or "input" as DeGrandis calls it. Each identified type of work is then written on a post-it note and placed on the whiteboard. The end result is a visual representation of the team's demand.
"When we bring our visual sense to solving problems, we get clarity around the problem.” - Dominica DeGrandis, Make Work Visible
Using the demand analysis as a framework, you’ll find out where your attention goes.
Perform a Demand Analysis
Purpose: Identify the applications and devices that consume your attention.
Time: 15-30 minutes
Materials: Pencil & paper or a spreadsheet and seven days of usage data.
Instructions: Review your usage data from Rize, Screen Time, and/or Digital Wellbeing. Then use that data to fill out the following tables.
Step 1 - Smartphone Demand Analysis
On a piece of paper or a blank spreadsheet write the column names; Screen Time (avg.), Pick-up (avg.), and Notifications (avg.)
Add the last seven days of your total screen time together. Then divide that number by seven for an average per day and put that number in the Screen Time column.
Repeat step 2, but with the pickups and notifications data that’s provided by Screen Time or Digital Wellbeing
Step 2 - Application Demand Analysis
Create a new table on a separate piece of paper or a new sheet within the same spreadsheet.
Add the columns Category and Apps to the top of the table.
Under Category, write the following categories, one per row; Messaging, Social Media, Email, Entertainment, Browsing, Meetings, and Gaming.
Next, group the applications logged by Rize, Screen Time, and/or Digital Wellbeing into one of the seven rows. Then write the name of the application in the second column next to the category.
Add two additional columns to the previous table; Total Screen Time and Daily Average.
For each app that consumed more than ten minutes of your time, calculate its sum over the last seven days and put that number in the Total Screen Time column.
Repeat step 2 until all apps that consumed ten minutes or more are accounted for.
Then divide each category total by seven and update the Daily Average column.
Now that you have some data, it’s time to draft some agreements with yourself.
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