Stumbling around I found this quite interesting article about concentration, about ‘How to stay focused’ as that is the web’s name and also seems to be the name of the book that web is intended to promote. Anyway, I just found it very interesting and wanted to share it with you (the link’s in the bottom of this article).
The article writes a list of 8 things you have to know about concentrating, but, first of all, it talks a bit about concentration and teaches us that it is a 3 phases process: alert, execution and disengagement. It’s a cycle, so when you concentrate on something, and then get distracted, you will eventually concentrate again, perhaps in the same task. The tough part here is that when people get to concentrate on one thing, the can’t keep being distracted by others, being that the T.V., music, loud noises, the urge to check the emails, etc.
This is something that can be appreciated when doing any focus-required task: changing attention slow our minds down, and actually is something that the article talks about. You better turn off the television, your phone and your iPod (and that’s to me, too…).
One important thing that is implied here is that the human mind, as it can be awake or asleep, when awake, it changes from concentrated to distracted. Those are two different phases; being distracted is not being concentrated in something else, but being blank. Don’t misunderstand that, when are supposed to study for some math test and are actually watching some youtube video, you’re being distracted from the study, but you’re not actually not in the state of distraction unless you’re trying to study as you’re watching to the video: you don’t learn a thing about math and you may not even remember what are you watching.
Also, there is the fact that we can only do one important thing on a day; a day is a day, one, and in that 24 hours we can do a lot of things, but we are most likely to be fully concentrated in just one. I myself have wanted to be productive, and I mean really productive, since last july-august vacations, so some days I found myself doing so many things I wonder how did I do all that stuff: I’m supposed to do one thing, right? I may have, because all the rest is, in most cases, school work, re-checking some notes for an exam, or finally drawing some sketches for all the craft we’re supposed to do.
The article talks about mind maps, but since I’m really tired of those awful techniques that supposedly help you study, and in this case, concentrate, I won’t talk about them…
The number 5 of the list is “Be smart with your time”, and it talks about three types of people: busy, lazy and sages, being kind of bad to the first 2, I guess. I names a lot the business world, and it explains why a busy person (that who is running with papers and talking serious conversations on the phone all-day) is actually bad for a company, because as it is stressed by nature, its coworkers will stress it even more, by leaving most work for the “most” qualified one, with not even realizing it is not.
On the lists are many ways to being able to concentrate more in important things, but the more direct ones, or well, the ones that are wrote in a more direct way to be “solutions” are ‘questions to kill procrastination’, and ‘blame something’, which are, I must say, the boring and not-very-helpful part of the writing. The former is a series of questions that in some way tells us distracting is wrong in all possible way (or that is how I saw it). And the latter is just a way to say “blame something… but remember not to do it on a regular basis!” and it also talks about object motivator; idea that I don’t find interesting for the topic… But gave me an idea for another post…
To finish, interest is the key for concentration, you are interested in math, it’ll be easy for you to study math; you’re interested in art, it’ll be easy for you to view a single piece for an hour, trying to figure out the colors, shapes, details, emotions, and anything. You see, interest is the only thing that give us a boost when trying to concentrate; that’s why when in the school many lack on concentration skills; they don’t like the matters, they don’t give a damn about them, so they just stare at their cellphones while doing homework, trying to get out of the “study bubble”.
You will find the article I have being talking about the entire post, here: 8 Things Everybody Ought to Know About Concentrating