Full Screen Mode

Do you operate in full screen mode?

“F11” gets me there on my PC at work. The “green circle” at the top left of my navigation bar gets me there on my Mac at home.

I’ve known that single, simple step to get there, but I rarely click on the button. Typically, I’ll pull up my email/website/excel/etc. but not allow any one task to dominate my screen. Other apps are prominent in the menu bar, a host of items are in view on my desktop, and notifications will ping me out of nowhere. 

Recently, I heard author James Clear talk about how he works in full screen mode, and I was immediately drawn to it. Hit “F11” or that “green circle” and all you see is one thing.

In basketball, I’ve had coaches create full screen environments. They’ll turn off clocks, black out windows and lock doors. No phones. No outside distractions. No idea what time it could be. All ball. All focus. 

Full screen mode. In basketball, I experienced the benefits of creating an environment that demanded a singular focus. One drill at a time. At work, I’m beginning to experience the benefits of expanding my home screen and eliminating push notifications. One thing at a time.

Research has shown that multitasking is a myth. Our minds can only attend to one cognitive task at a time, so we’re actually task-switching. And this significantly diminishes and slows our productivity. 

This has been a challenge for me because in basketball, the environment was created to be all-in. Now, I need to intentionally create that environment when sitting down to do deep work. 

But I don’t want to just train or work in full screen mode —I want to live in full screen mode.

With presence, purpose and patience. In my prayers to God – not mind-wandering to all that needs to be done – but connected in conversation. In relationship to others – not looking over their shoulder but making eye contact and engaged in what they’re saying. In my use of time – not scattered or scrolling through social media – but devoted to things that matter.

It may feel a little slower, but I’ll bet it leads to not only more progress but more connected relationships. One thing, one person, one prayer at a time. Full screen. Full engagement. Full Life. 

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