How Travel Helped Me Find Deep Focus and Get into the Flow

Digital Nomad

April 29, 2024

 How Travel Helped Me Find Deep Focus and Get into the Flow

Inspired by Cal Newport's book Deep Work Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book Flow The Psychology of Optimal Experience, I changed my strategy to achieve deep focus and optimal productivity. These concepts highlight the importance of blocking distractions and engaging in tasks with total concentration, allowing you to get more done in a few hours than most people do in weeks.

Deep focus and flow are like secret weapons in today's world, where constant notifications and digital noise often disrupt our concentration. The state of flow is the feeling of being "in the zone," where you're so immersed in your work that time flies and your productivity soars. Deep focus is dedicating extended periods to high-concentration work, minimizing interruptions.

Insiperd, made me think

In Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport shares various stories and insights to illustrate the concept of deep focus and its impact on productivity and success. Among these stories, one that stands out is a person who would pay for a plane ticket to Japan and back to focus on work.

The individual in this story realized that the time spent on a long-haul flight offered an unparalleled opportunity to focus without distractions. With no internet, phone calls, or interruptions from colleagues, they could work continuously for hours, achieving a deep focus that is hard to find on the ground.

Inspired by this story, I wondered if it was worth spending thousands of dollars on a plane ticket to gain this kind of focus. It seemed like an extreme measure, but the concept made sense: By investing in deep focus, you could achieve more in a single flight than you might in days of regular office work. This realization shifted my perspective. Rather than seeing it as a waste of money, I viewed it as an investment in productivity and success.

The story led me to question my work habits. Would it be worth paying a premium to eliminate distractions and get more done? The answer became clear when I thought about the cost of distractions and procrastination. The price of a plane ticket might seem high, but the cost of not completing a project or missing a deadline could be even higher. It's better to invest in deep focus than to suffer the consequences of unfinished work or the regret of not reaching your full potential.

This idea can be applied in various ways, not just on flights. The key takeaway is that creating an environment where you can focus profoundly is invaluable. Whether booking a flight, renting a remote cabin, or staying in a hotel for a few days, the investment in deep focus can lead to significant gains in productivity and personal satisfaction. It's a reminder that sometimes you must go to great lengths to eliminate distractions and achieve your best work. Ultimately, the cost of reaching deep focus is far less than the price of regret.

The Power of Deep Focus and Flow

There comes a time when you realize that your usual work environment could be more conducive to productivity. Distractions creep in from every angle—social media notifications, coworkers stopping by for a chat, or the endless stream of emails. This constant disruption can quickly lead to a lack of focus, a drop in motivation, and significantly reduced productivity.

I knew I needed to change when I recognized this pattern in my work life. The solution was simple: step away from the noise and find a place to concentrate without interruptions. For me, this often meant traveling a couple of hours away from home and renting a hotel room for one or two nights. The key was to find a location inherently free from distractions—a remote cabin in the woods, a secluded hotel in the countryside, or a quiet corner in a small town. The destination didn't matter as long as it was peaceful and devoid of the usual distractions.

These environments are designed to be boring. There are no attractions or entertainment options, and that's precisely the point. When there's nothing else to do but focus on work, you're left with two choices: be idle and let boredom take over, or dive into your projects and make the most of your time. I always choose the latter.

Upon arriving at my chosen location, I felt calm because of the absence of noise and clutter. As I settled in, I set up my workspace and prepared for uninterrupted focus. The initial minutes can be challenging as you adjust to the quiet, but soon, something magical happens. After just 15 minutes of concentrated effort, I started feeling motivated, and the work flowed.

This is the essence of deep focus and flow. In this state, I'm no longer distracted by the usual interruptions. My mind is entirely absorbed in the task, and my productivity soars. I can work for hours on end without feeling tired or burnt out. The sense of accomplishment that comes with this level of focus is gratifying, and it often leads to breakthroughs and insights that might not have occurred in a typical office setting.

I've achieved more than I ever thought possible in these focused sessions. What would typically take days or even weeks to accomplish can be done in hours. The secret lies in removing distractions and allowing yourself to enter a state of deep focus where you're fully engaged and in the flow of your work. This kind of productivity is not only efficient but also incredibly fulfilling. It's a reminder that sometimes, you need a change of scenery and a commitment to deep focus to unlock your true potential.

My Journey to Deep Focus

When I first started exploring the concept of deep focus, I was looking for ways to increase my productivity and creativity. I read about how changing your environment can help you find the focus and inspiration to do your best work. The idea intrigued me, and I decided to give it a try.

I began with a simple experiment: I drove a few hours away from home and checked into a small, quiet hotel. It was a secluded place, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The silence was almost unsettling initially—I felt lonely and bored. But after setting up my workspace and removing all distractions, I started focusing on my work.

The first day was all about adjusting to this new environment. I had no TV, no social media, and no interruptions: just me, my work, and a lot of quiet time. By the second day, I began to notice a change. I was in the flow and deeply engaged in my projects. I felt a sense of clarity and creativity I hadn't experienced in a long time. The distractions that usually pulled me away from my work were no longer an issue.

Over the next three days, I worked almost nonstop. Ideas flowed freely, and my productivity soared. By the end of my stay, I had accomplished more than I ever thought possible. I was ahead of everyone on my team, and my workload seemed manageable for the first time in weeks. I had completed tasks typically taking three engineers three weeks to finish.

Encouraged by this success, I began experimenting with other environments to find deep focus. I tried working in different coffee shops, seeking places with unique atmospheres. The soft background noise and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee helped me stay focused while allowing me to be around people without being distracted by them.

Next, I took short trips to beach houses, where the sound of the ocean waves and the sea breeze provided a calming backdrop for my work. The change of scenery was refreshing, and the relaxed environment helped spark my creativity. I could sit on a balcony with a fantastic view, laptop in hand, and work for hours without feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

These different environments helped me discover the importance of finding the right balance between solitude and stimulation. Each location offered a unique experience that contributed to my deep focus. Whether it was the peacefulness of a remote hotel, the subtle energy of a coffee shop, or the tranquility of a beach house, I realized that the key to productivity was creating a space where I could concentrate without distractions.

In the end, I learned that deep focus and flow are not just about finding quiet places—they're about creating an environment that allows you to engage fully with your work. By removing distractions and embracing different settings, I became more productive, more creative, and ultimately more successful in my projects. I continue to explore this journey, always seeking new ways to achieve deep focus and reach my full potential.


If you're finding it hard to maintain focus and motivation in your current environment, you might need a change of scenery. The familiar surroundings of your home or office can often be filled with distractions, making it difficult to concentrate and get into a state of flow. To break out of this cycle, take a break from your usual environment and find a place to focus without distractions.

This doesn't necessarily mean you must travel far or spend a lot of money. The key is to find a location that allows you to work uninterrupted for an extended period. It could be a quiet corner in a local library, a small coffee shop with minimal noise, or even a secluded spot in your home where you can shut the door and focus.

For some, it might mean a short trip to a nearby town or a remote cabin in the woods. The goal is to create an environment where you can immerse yourself in your work without the constant interruptions of emails, phone calls, or people dropping by. This intentional shift in setting can profoundly impact your ability to concentrate and achieve deep focus.

By embracing deep focus and flow, you'll unlock a new level of productivity and creativity. You'll find yourself completing projects faster, developing innovative ideas, and achieving more than you ever thought possible. This shift in focus can also lead to more extraordinary accomplishment and satisfaction with your work, as you'll be more engaged and efficient.

To get started:

  • Consider your personal preferences and what kind of environment helps you focus.
  • If you work best with some background noise, try a quiet coffee shop or a relaxed co-working space. If you need complete silence, a remote cabin or a quiet room at home might be the best option.
  • Experiment with different settings to find what works for you.

Once you've found your ideal focus environment, create a routine that supports deep work. Set aside dedicated blocks of time for uninterrupted work, and use this time to tackle your most challenging tasks. Turn off notifications, close irrelevant tabs, and let those around you know you will not be disturbed during these periods.

The benefits of deep focus are significant. You'll be more productive, efficient, and creative and accomplish more in less time. This can lead to a better work-life balance, as you'll have more free time to enjoy other aspects of your life. So take the plunge, find your quiet space, and watch your productivity soar. It's an investment in yourself and your success; the rewards are well worth it.

** Book Recommendation:

  • Dopamine Nation - Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence
  • Limitless - Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life
  • Change Your Brain, Change Your Life - The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Lack of Focus, Anger, and Memory Problems
  • The Power of Habit Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
  • Flow The Psychology of Optimal Experience
  • Deep Work Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted
  • Atomic Habits An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Join Our Discord Community Unleash your potential, join a vibrant community of like-minded learners, and let's shape the future of programming together. Click here to join us on Discord.

For Consulting and Mentorship, feel free to contact

©2024. All rights reserved. Designed by Prototype.NEXT software development - software development - Consulting software development - Consulting