Forge Is the Best New Productivity Resource on the Internet

It's about focus and creativity ... not a guide to "hacking" your way through life

Focus
(Photo: 10,000 Hours / Getty Images)
By Kirk Miller / June 20, 2019 9:40 am

“Do you want a single takeaway from the 21st century so far? Here it is: To the focused go the spoils.”

That’s an opening line in “Your Focus Is Priceless. Stop Giving It Away,” a treatise on concentration by a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, now found on Forge.

Launched this week, Forge is a new online publication devoted to productivity, innovation and, for the first week, focus. All delivered in quick, highly informative reads by A-level writers, whether they’re advocating for boredom or explaining how to tell a chatty coworker to go away.

Forge is the latest publication from Medium, a publishing platform created by Twitter co-founder Ev Williams that’s gone through a few (and admittedly frustrating) pivots over the past few years but still produces some quality, not-always-mainstream journalism.

Forge, however, is pretty much a must-read for any busy person in 2019.

Overseen by Indrani Sen, former culture editor at Quartz, Forge promises to “examine and illuminate our constant struggle to get more done” using journalistic rigor and peer-reviewed science.

Helping Forge get started: some top-name authors and contributors, including Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Matt Richtel and career expert Zak Slayback, along with contributors from Quartz and New Republic and other various book authors and university professors.

Forge screenshot
(Screenshot of Forge)

At launch, the first round of Forge’s stories focus on, well, focus. Some highlights:

The Urgent Case for Boredom: Author Joe Fassler (Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration and the Artistic Process) suggests occasionally surrendering to “the tedium of too little stimulation” (a modern idea) to regain our inventive spirit.

Your Focus Is Priceless. Stop Giving It Away. Where Matt Richtel uses the Battle of Britain and “the cocktail party effect” to discuss why you can’t keep your mind on one thing.

Networking Events Are Bullshit. The reason you don’t meet decision makers and CEOs at these shindigs? People more successful than you have better ways to spend your time.

It all comes across like a memorable TED Talk or a great podcast, but distilled down into 3-7 minute reads and presented on a reader-friendly, minimalist white background with few graphics. To help you, ahem, focus.

Like everything on Medium, the first few stories on Forge are free, but $5/month unlocks all of the stories across the platform (not just Forge, but everything).