In the first Focus Work Boot Camp ever, Jørn, Nina and Ingvild met for two 3 hours-session of focus work.

This first boot camp took place in Bjørke, the small village in the innermost part of  the fjord Hjørundfjorden. For some people it is known to host the Indiefjord festival. The village itself invites to this kind of work with its quiet, yet forceful surronding high mountains and with the lack of traffic, shops and other disturbing elements.

Early on the 27th of July, 2015, myself – Jørn, the graphic designer Ingvild and the communication worker and owner of a start up vineyard, Nina, met in the building previously used as a school.

The first half hour was spent getting settled, getting an extra desk, making coffee and talk about the different projects we had planned to work on during the day. I believe this part of the focus work boot camp is important: Learning and getting inspiration from others.

The two sessions of focus work went on as planned: The first from 8.30 to 11.30, the second from 12.30 to 15.30. In both sessions, there was a chatting break midway. Ingvild asked for the wifi midway in the second session in order to retrieve a file from the internet. On second thought, she postponed it – she had other offline work she could turn to.

Lunch at focus work boot camp
Lunch at focus work boot camp

As planned, the shared session started at 11.30. Wifi was turned back on, phones were given out. Jørn took a run around the village, while Nina and Ingvild had lunch in the summer sun that paid Sunnmøre a visit this day.

So, how did the “boot campers” experience this first day at a focus work boot camp?

Nina spent the day reading background litterature for her final decisions in some important issues regarding her vineyard startup. She concluded that the day brought her further on that project than expected. “I did not miss the connectivity at all! If I had been connected through the day, I know for sure that there would have been a lot of interruptions, and I would have gotten less done.”

Ingvild seized the opportunity to remake the content of her homepage (offline), a job she has been procrastinating for a year or so. “It’s dead boring work, but I really need it to be done. As expected, I did not finish today. But after this day I feel that I the end of this job is within reach. That is a great relief for me! The “pressure” from the group, even if it was only 2 other persons, really worked for me. There was no escape, I just had to stay on the focus work. To me, it’s important that focus work does not mean that you have to stay on the same task all through the day. One gets exhausted and sick of some task. I find it useful to put these “in incubation” after having worked on them for a while. I realize that it might be some sort of procrastination, but on a boot camp like this, the alternative is to grab some other focus work. So the focus work still wins.”

Myself, Jørn, dedicated the day to writing. I spent 3 full hours on rewriting and remaking a 5 page description of a full day seminar I’m selling to a customer. I might not land that particular deal, but either way the 3 hours felt really useful for the whole concept I’m working on. It is also satisfactory to deliever the best I can to a customer, knowing I have done my best, even if the customer might not buy it in end. The temptation to get online was not there during the day. It would just be too embarassing to do so in front of the others. I am definately hoping that we get to set up a new focus work boot camp pretty soon. I know I can apply the same rules without the boot camp surrounding. It’s just so much easier with other people around, having a common agreement on the rules. For a guy who runs a solo business like me, it’s inspiring to get to know other people and their businesses.

After this first focus work boot camp at Bjørke, we sat up a Facebook-group to plan future boot camps at there.