Do you like cats? Regardless of whether you answer yes or no, you can learn something from them.
Our cat Mercy had been sitting on the porch staring at our garden shed for weeks. It just stood out. She sat there motionless for hours, staring, no matter what the weather was, sun, storm, or rain. Every single day.
We were starting to get worried, thinking she was sick and considering whether we should take her to the vet.
Until one day she proudly brought three dead mice to the porch. All this time she knew what she was doing. And she knew she wanted to get those mice at the garden shed!
What concentration! What planning! And what unwavering focus!
We humans can learn something from that. If you would just concentrate on things like that, what you could achieve then!
Unfortunately, that is just not what people do. On the contrary, we multitask like crazy, doing thirty things at once and expecting results. Which then fail to materialize.
Do you recognize this? Then read on!
What are you doing wrong?
Your attention is fragmented. Multitasking means, for example, that you play with your children, while in the meantime you update your social media with your phone in your hand. Or you work on a project while reading the latest news online.
Even relaxation is no longer what it once was, because how often does it happen that you receive an app while reading a book or watching a movie on TV, which you quickly answer?
It is so easy these days to be busy without being productive.
While it may seem efficient to do a bunch of different things at once, a 2013 study found that a high cognitive load seriously hurts your performance.
Switching between different tasks takes an enormous amount of energy and time. You don’t notice it right away, but if you were to measure how long and with how much attention you did all the different tasks, you would see that your productivity has gone deep into the red.
Another study shows that the more things you have to pay attention to, the greater the drain on your focus energy. This prevents you from making good decisions, demolishes your creativity, and prevents you from concentrating on important things.
Your brain gets used to this non-productivity, and it’s harmful! I’ll go into this in a little more detail below.
Example from Spanish practice
A lack of focus is commonplace among us in Andalusia. Take our greengrocer, for example. It’s a fairly large store in a shed and unlike most other vegetable stores here, it all looks fresh, modern and well cared for. The way of working in this store is totally different from the way it works where I was born (in the Netherlands).
At a Dutch greengrocer/vegetable store you tell the employee what you want, he weighs it and when you have everything you need you are told what it costs, you pay and leave.
At our Spanish greengrocer, you go through the store with a shopping cart, put everything you need in your cart yourself. Then you go to an employee standing next to a table with a scale, which is connected to the cash register system.
The employee puts e.g. tomatoes on the scale and calls to a lady, who sits a little further behind a counter, what is on the scale: “Tomatoes!” He takes the tomatoes off and puts the next item, e.g. peppers on the scale. Calls out “Red peppers!”. And sp he goes down everything you have in your shopping cart.
Unfortunately, the people here are very easily distracted, so you always have to pay close attention to what they are doing yourself. It happened more than once that the employee calls out what was on the scale, but the lady behind the counter is suddenly talking to someone else or playing with her phone. No focus! You then have to just wait until she gets her focus back.
Or someone comes to a clerk with a question, who then drops everything and walks away to figure something out, get something, or whatever. This is all very normal here.
After everything is weighed and passed around, you have to go to the counter to pay the lady who registered everything. Again, there is usually no focus here. This week she was tapping on her keyboard with her left hand to print a receipt, while her right hand was tapping on her phone sending Whatsapp messages.
Typing in amounts with her left hand and apping with others in between business. Left-right-left-right-left-right…. So it’s no surprise that we already had to pay twenty euros (around $25) for just a few red peppers. Oops!
Eventually, it was corrected, of course, but the problem is a total lack of focus, on what they’re doing. It causes mistakes and a lot of time to be wasted unnecessarily on fixing those mistakes.
But it gets worse
Recent research is causing concern because it seems that your brain areas related to cognitive and emotional control are shrinking when you’re a so-called multitasker.
So if you multitask for a while, at some point you feel like you can’t concentrate on one thing anymore. You can’t keep it up anymore.
And that’s not surprising, because your brain is no longer able to do it. Physical damage has occurred!
This causes you to fall into a vicious circle, whereby you become less focused and less productive, you perform worse and get less done, while you wrongly think you have done a lot.
The fact is that when you want to do, say, 3 tasks, constantly switching between them takes a lot of time and energy.
Now the good news
We are dealing with a global problem here: people suffer en masse from splintered focus. However, this means that if you can concentrate on one thing at a time (just like our cat), you will stand out!
It is therefore much more productive and also good for your brain to do one thing at a time. If that’s difficult for you, you can make it a whole lot easier on yourself by listening to our Power Focus download.
This download will help you become a focus powerhouse on a subconscious level.
When you listen to Power Focus regularly, you will find that you are no longer distracted from what you really want to accomplish. You handle things much more efficiently, whatever they are one by one, thus achieving your goals much faster.
And this has the positive side effect of making you more creative and experiencing clear, sharp focus with the things you do. It also reduces negative and irrelevant thoughts.
With this download, you give the very best of yourself and achieve more than you ever thought possible.
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