The problem with management in small teams and businesses is that it’s often not a full-time job. Smart, capable workers need some direction and follow-up, sure, but they also thrive on autonomy. Frivolous management frequently encroach on the latter for no better reason than having free manager time to fill.
Immersion means 100% focus. If possible, no friends, no drinking, no TV, just reading and writing code. If you take five minutes off to read the news, be aware you are breaking the mental state of immersion. Stay focused, be patient, your mind will adapt. Eliminate all distractions, of which you may find doubt to be the loudest. Immersion is the difference between success and failure.
Even after all our research, we missed an important truth about how the world has changed: The way people access a tool is just as important as what the tool does. People are overloaded with information, logins, and interfaces. And here we were, asking them to create a whole new habit.
To test against the first criteria, I ask myself whether I am an active participant in the meeting. Do I speak up and contribute, or am I just sitting in the sidelines? Do I have a strong point of view about this topic? Is there someone else who can represent my point of view just as well or better? Will something be done less effectively if I’m not there?