Hey fellas, I am going to tell you about the breaking news that just recently occurred in in the scientific circles.
It’s been proved by the research that students write their essays much better in every aspect if they are given a specific topic. So what is the point here and how can we apply this knowledge on the level of everyday life?
Here the concept of focus/undivided attention comes to play. Multitasking doesn’t work it could work but when performance suffer a lot compared to the situation when we focus on one specific task. Why am I even talking about this?
The thing is that concepts like this can be easily used not only in academic but in every aspect of life. When learning a new skill it is far more beneficial to give it say 20 minutes of undivided attention than an hour of vague, unfocused attention. I would often time fail to realize that it is not about the time but about the effort you put in. And it comes to literally everything you can do. Well, since we live/study in Tartu, I could use an example of an average student to demonstrate how this principle really works.
Have you ever heard this quote (I guess it was said by some Buddhist monk)? «There are two ways to wash the dishes. The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes and the second is to wash the dishes in order to wash the dishes». On the surface level we might think that the result will be the same in the both cases, but if we look deeper the result is the least important thing here and here is why.
So let’s use an example of a student going out on a Friday night. The student is an average dude/girl who has some unfinished appointments for some future classes. You might have experienced this quite a few times when you are out but you can’t really have fun because there is this thought in the back of your mind «I shouldn’t be here, I must be doing something more important now» This mind set will automatically block “the fun” part of your brain because there is too much attention given to the “wrong” thoughts. Let’s be objective here. Once you have chosen a certain way to spend your time there is absolutely no point in regretting about some other stuff you could be doing in the moment. Why? Simply because your performance of the current task will suffer from it. And the task can be anything from writing your thesis to playing the final round of beer-pong. Focus is one of the few things we can really control/learn how to control. Being not really in the moment/ paying attention to things that are not present in a current situation does not only decrease your performance but, which in my opinion at least as important, it takes away the pleasure of experiencing the moment. In the end of the day experience is something that makes us who we are and you don’t want to miss any opportunity of being fully present just because by not doing so you take away the restricted amount of time you are given away from yourself. So here we have the 2 main perks of undivided focus/attention: 1) high level of performance 2) more vivid, “real” experience of the moment. It is up to you to decide which one is more important for you. Both seem great, but just as an experiment try to wash the dishes just to wash the dishes next time 🙂