Your mind doesn't run parallel tasks, it has to trade off one focus for another. The good news is that mindfulness meditation can hone your attention span, and reduce stress and anxiety.
By now, everyone knows that mindfulness meditation is good for you—but what's still surprising scientists is just how quickly it works. Ten minutes of meditation won't make you a better mutlitasker—there's no such thing, as psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman explains—but it will make you more adept at switching tasks and returning to a deep level of concentration more quickly after a distraction. Every time you practice meditation, you’re strengthening the neural circuitry for focus and training your brain away from mind-wandering. Beyond the need to concentrate for work, pleasure, or to overcome negative emotion, mindfulness meditation can also help to manage disorders like PTSD, anxiety, and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). This last one particularly has shown incredible results, and Goleman cites one exercise a teacher in a rough neighborhood of New York City practices routinely with their class of seven-year-old kids, over half of which have special needs like ADD and autism. That daily ritual keeps the class environment calm and constructive, and is empowering the children with self-control strategies early on. The scientific research evidence on the benefits of meditation is already compelling, and there are major studies underway, which Goleman expects will reveal many more insights that can be used to instruct creative, educational, and mental health practices. Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson are the authors of Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body.
Here's why you should try to fit less—not more—into each day.
The other day a friend mentioned that he’s looking forward to autonomous cars, as it will help lower the accident and fatality rates caused by distracted driving. True, was my initial reply, with a caveat: what we gain on the roads we lose in general attention. Having yet another place to be distracted does not add to our mental and social health.
These glycerin "smart glasses" may be the only specs you'll need – although they do need a design intervention at some point.
Sometimes, wearing eyeglasses can be a pain. You need to change them with every new prescription and in addition they don't always serve you well enough. Reading glasses, for example, help you focus up close but become useless if you need to go back to doing other activities. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology more than 150 million Americans use some type of corrective eyewear, spending $15 billion each year. We may all need glasses at some point, because as a natural side-effect of aging, the lens inside our eyes that adjusts the focal depth depending on what we look at, loses its ability to change focus.
Cross 'multi-tasking ninja' off your resume, it's out, say Stanford researchers and other cognitive experts. Here are three tips for transitioning back to single-tasking.
According to Pulitzer winner Charles Duhigg, the art of focus is training your mind to know what it can safely ignore.
We all get the same amount of hours in a day. Some people definitely seem to have more. Writers like Steven King and James Patterson, performers like Beyoncé, filmmakers who release a new blockbuster or shoe-gazing comedy every year, and world leaders who are across all of humanity’s problems. Even some humble ordinary folks seem to get more done than appears possible, but 24 hours is the contract our planet signed with the sun so there it is, cut and dried.