Deeper Focus Through Fewer Distractions

Recording from LDSHE 2018 “Deeper Focus Through Fewer Distractions”

“The ability to pay attention, to control the content of your consciousness, is critical to a good life.  When you’re constantly interrupted by external things…by self-generated interruptions, or by your own efforts to multitask and juggle several tasks at once, the chronic distractions erode your sense of having control of your life.  They don’t just derail your train of thought.  They make you lose yourself.”     Alex Soojung-Kim Pang The Distraction Addiction

“To learn requires intense concentration.”Antonin-Dalmace Sertillanges
Single-tasking “Trying to do more than one thing at once not only slows us down, but causes us to make more mistakes—with the resulting rework slowing us down even more.  We feel busier, but we’re doing less, and doing it less well.”   Caroline Webb
“Genuine insight isn’t helped by piecemeal attention.”  Caroline Webb
“People who multitask all the time can’t filter out irrelevancy. They can’t manage a working memory. They’re chronically distracted. They initiate much larger parts of their brain that are irrelevant to the task at hand… they’re pretty much mental wrecks.” Clifford Nass
BATCH YOUR TASKS“Scattering your attention only increases the load on your brain, making it harder to think creatively.”    Caroline Webb
“Less mental clutter means more mental resources available for deep thinking.” Cal Newport
“Busyness as Proxy for Productivity: …doing lots of stuff in a visible manner.”    Cal Newport
Overcoming Overload “There’s always something tiny you can do to feel you’ve made progress.  It’s an infallible way of keeping things moving forward when things feel unmanageable.” Caroline Webb
DELEGATE “We so often get pulled into tasks that we should, by rights be asking others to help with…By being unwilling to delegate tasks that others could reasonably help with, we fail to make progress on the important or tricky things that only we can do.”  Caroline Webb
LOWER THE NUMBER OF DECISIONS“The more decisions we’re asked to make, the less cognitive capacity we have available to assess alternatives and make good, nuanced choices.”  Caroline Webb
Deliberate Downtime“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets… it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done”  Tim Kreider
“Our attitude to addictive experiences is largely cultural, and if our culture makes space for work-free, game-free, screen-free downtime, we and our children will find it easier to resist the lure of behavioral addiction”    Adam Alter

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