Mindfulness means focusing on only one problem or activity at a time.
Our brain cannot do two things at once. “What we believe is multi-tasking is really the brain switching quickly from one task to the next.”
A study points out that those who are multi-taskers are less efficient.
The “brain attic” is Holmes’s analogy for the human mind and how we store information. Just consuming information leads to mental clutter that gets difficult to access when you need it.
We are more likely to remember something if we connect it to a sensory experience or previous action, like writing or connecting memories to smells or sounds.
Holmes plays the violin, because it takes him out of his thinking mind and places him in a purely physical state.
“Taking mental holidays can be incredibly productive for creativity", even something as simple as taking a walk in the park during your lunch break instead of eating at your desk.
“Holmes is an expert at person perception,” says Konnikova. Holmes is also an expert at identifying his own biases–i.e. the memories in his brain attic that might influence his perception of a person or situation.
We cannot allocate our attention to multiple things at once and expect it to function at the same level as it would were we to focus on just one activity.
If you're really struggling to pay attention and personal challenges aren't working, try field notes: writing descriptions and drawing pictures of what you see.
If you're at work, dedicate 10 minutes to observing one person's behavior. Jot it down on paper.
This will help you to start paying attention to the tiny details.