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How to Focus A Wandering Mind

How to Focus A Wandering Mind
New research reveals what happens in a wandering mind—and sheds light on the cognitive and emotional benefits of increased focus. We’ve all been there. You’re slouched in a meeting or a classroom, supposedly paying attention, but your mind has long since wandered off, churning out lists of all the things you need to do—or that you could be doing if only you weren’t stuck here… Suddenly you realize everyone is looking your way expectantly, waiting for an answer. But you’re staring blankly, grasping at straws to make a semi-coherent response. The curse of the wandering mind! But don’t worry—you’re not alone. This suggests it might be good to find ways to reduce these mental distractions and improve our ability to focus. What happens in the wandering mind? For something that happens so often, what do we really know about this process of mind-wandering? For thousands of years, contemplative practices such as meditation have provided a means to look inward and investigate our mental processes.

http://www.dailygood.org/story/539/how-to-focus-a-wandering-mind-wendy-hasenkamp/

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How to Increase Your Focus Post written by Leo Babauta. I confess to being as prone to the distractions of the Internet as anyone else: I will start reading about something that interests me and disappear down the rabbit hole for hours (even days) at a time. But my ability to focus on a single task has dramatically improved, and that one habit has changed my life. While a few years ago I couldn’t sit down to work on something without quickly switching to email or one of my favorite Internet forums or sites, today I can sit down and write. I can clear away distractions, when I set my mind to it, and do one thing. And that changes everything: you lose yourself in that task, become so immersed that you pour everything you have into the work, and it becomes a meditative, transformative experience.

6 Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills Have you ever thought of yourself as a problem solver? I’m guessing not. But in reality we are constantly solving problems. The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time - Tony Schwartz by Tony Schwartz | 8:53 AM March 14, 2012 Why is it that between 25% and 50% of people report feeling overwhelmed or burned out at work? It’s not just the number of hours we’re working, but also the fact that we spend too many continuous hours juggling too many things at the same time. What we’ve lost, above all, are stopping points, finish lines and boundaries. Technology has blurred them beyond recognition.

18 Ways to Stay Focused at Work Over the years I have worked at many client sites and a variety of office layouts. On one project in particular, we had as many as 80 people in a project team, seated via an open plan arrangement. It was pretty difficult trying to stay focused in an environment like this. These days, the projects I’m on are typically smaller, but there are still a number of distractions which frequently interrupt my working groove. So what are some of the things we can do to minimise such interruptions and distractions?

“Tip-of-the-Tongue Syndrome,” Transactive Memory, and How the Internet Is Making Us Smarter by Maria Popova “A public library keeps no intentional secrets about its mechanisms; a search engine keeps many.” “The dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephones, take the place of human intimacies, and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision,” Anaïs Nin wrote in her diary in 1946, decades before the internet as we know it even existed. Her fear has since been echoed again and again with every incremental advance in technology, often with simplistic arguments about the attrition of attention in the age of digital distraction. But in Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (public library), Clive Thompson — one of the finest technology writers I know, with regular bylines for Wired and The New York Times — makes a powerful and rigorously thought out counterpoint. He writes in the introduction:

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11 ways of staying focused Each of us have our busy lives and in this world of constant distractions, how can we stay focused on our goals? This article discusses several techniques I have found to work. For me, there are always several things constantly competing for my time – articles to write, business opportunities to explore, links to follow up, my daily work, personal commitments etc. In my experience whenever I try to work on many things at the same time, none of them actually gets done. In response, I’ve incorporated the following techniques for staying focused into my work patterns:

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