Blinkers: Put it on, for a focussed approach

Mudassir Azeemi
3 min readNov 19, 2020
Second, from the right, back in 1983, yours truly. Heading toward school in a horse buggy

That picture is from 1983, the first day at school. Dad and mom got me ready, and then when they were seeing me off for my first day at school, this is the photo (in the header) they took. Then next couple of years, it was my ride to school, a horse buggy, with other neighborhood kids. Rain or shine, we always have to have this ride.

During my ride, whenever we reach school, there is a mix of school vans and horse buggy, since that was pretty common in the early to late 80s in Karachi, Pakistan.

Then I start noticing a strange thing, when I grew up a bit, there was a weird thing on horses’ eyes. One day, I asked our coachman, “Why they have that weird thing on their eyes?”. “So they don’t get distracted, and they are an animal, they sometimes afraid from a sudden movement from their surrounding”.

Just a month ago, when we entered the final quarter of 2020. I personally use the last quarter of every year as a retrospective time for myself. This is where I decide and plan for the following year. And I stumble upon some habit-forming books and how to ship the product. After reading many of them, I concluded that it is all about “avoiding” distraction and staying focused.

That eye-wear on horses are known as “Blinkers,” or some may call it “Blinders”. A powerful metaphor I came up with for myself after reading those books (Atomic Habit and Just F****** Ship)

I need to build my own “blinders” / “blinkers.”

I believe this is exactly what we need, whether you are deciding to advance in your career, a tiny project on the back-burner, or a big idea. Blinkers that we create for our own is important. Numerous books have written on this topic. A popular one is Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nil Eyal.

Here is what I am doing:

Trello’s mise-en-place template

This is the easiest one, just put everything in the inbox, and then if you want to focus on certain tasks today, tomorrow, and this week, just place them one by one and don't’ forget to put the reminder.

Do not disturb (DND)

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Mudassir Azeemi

Finding patterns in chaos. Pioneer of Urdu language on Apple devices! UX/UI Instructor | Speaker | Design Governance Head at Ring Central | Curious