Embrace Boredom for Improved Concentration

Concentrate intensely is a skill which needs to be trained.

Concentrating intensely is valuable because it allows you to get more work done in less time. The work you do when in a state of intense concentration is more often than not of a higher quality too.

 

The ability to concentrate intensely is becoming more valuable as it becomes more rare. We live in a world of distractions and immediate suppression of boredom. It's likely that you'll look at your phone at some point during your reading of this.

Creative insights don't come from deciding to concentrate intensely on one occasion, you have to train your brain by doing it consistently. Creative insights are simply one of the byproducts of intense concentration.

 

The problem, as mentioned above, is distraction. Your brain becomes accustomed to on-demand distraction. When you want to concentrate, it becomes extremely difficult. Distraction presents itself in the form of social media, news, television etc.

To train yourself to concentrate intensely, it's vital that you learn to embrace boredom. If every moment of potential boredom, such as waiting in line for 5 minutes, is relieved by looking at your phone, your brain is rewired to a point where it isn't ready for intense concentration, even if you regularly schedule time to practice this type of concentration.  Embrace boredom and starve your brain of the on-demand distraction it so badly craves.

This edition of 'Think Tank' is inspired by a book by Cal Newport titled, 'Deep Work', which is about rules for focused success in a distracted world.

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