Why We Actually Need More Mindless Activities

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concentrate In a world of constant work emails and social media notifications is a never-ending challenge. Just as we are talking about the importance (and difficulty) of sustained deep concentration, there are other kinds of attention, all of which have their usefulness.I have outpouring of creativity from boring; The comfort of engaging in ignorance, daily activities; When Even the satisfaction that comes from powering up tough-but terrifying—task.

“Attention has typically been thought of as having two states: focused and unfocused,” says researcher Gloria Mark, author of the book. Attention Span: A Revolutionary Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity. “In the end, it’s much more subtle than that.”

What are the four types of attention?

As Mark and other researchers have found, attention has two components: challenge and engagement. The deep focus we usually think of when it comes to attention involves a high level of engagement and challenge. However, it can also be challenged but not engaged, or engaged but not challenged, leading to four different types of attention.ocus, rot, boredom, and frustration.


Focused attention is what we usually refer to when talking about attention. When you focus your attention, there is a level of engagement where you are actively paying attention to something while trying something else. “It’s about focusing,” Mark said. “If you are focused on something, your mind is working. To truly understand and understand something. It contains a bit of a challenge. ”

Rothe caution

Deep concentration comes with a high level of commitment and challenge. However, it’s possible to get deeply involved in doing something, like scrolling through your Instagram feed, without actually trying. This type of attention is called implicit attention.

“This is especially relevant in the digital age,” Mark said. “We have so many things on our computer [and phones] It can get our attention, but we are not challenged at all. What is being used is a radically different kind of attention. ”


If you are not challenged and actively working on something, The result is the boredom that everyone experiences“When you’re bored, you become more aware of the passage of time,” Mark said. “It’s because we’re not using our cognitive resources to engage in anything. There’s an emptiness in our minds.”

You may not enjoy being bored, but it can be useful. “Boredom can be a pretty painful experience,” Mark said.depending on how one tries to mitigate boring There are many creative ways you can encourage the switch to focused attention, including: Find something new or unexpected.


Frustration occurs during activities that require a high level of challenge but little or no involvement. we are not enjoyingAs Mark points out, frustration tends to drain our energy quickly. Avoid at all cost.

How to maximize your attention

Focused attention is worth it, but reality requires a lot of energy. in short, It cannot persist for long periods of time. “People have a limited capacity for attentional resources,” Mark said. “You can think of it as our attention.”

To maximize our attention span, Mark recommends finding ways to switch between focused and unconscious attention as a smart way to use our limited amount of energy. if you have [energy] It wears off pretty quickly,” she said. “Focused attention requires a lot of cognitive resources. Vague attention requires few resources, boredom requires few resources, and frustration requires many resources.”

As Mark advises, if you’re not careful,It doesn’t require a lot of energy, but it’s very engaging and can be a way to get your energy back. said. “We want to harness our ability to switch attentional states. We also want to be aware of our tank of resources so that we can switch before it’s too late.”

Replenishing your energy for better concentration can take the form of playing a simple game, going for a walk, or finding another kind of fun but no-nonsense activity. “The real challenge is not to fall into the attention trap. I think,” Mark said.

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