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We’re perfectly productive when we accomplish what we intend to do.
An intention for a day could be to write a few pages. And if we accomplish that, we’re perfectly productive. An intention for a day could also be to watch five episodes of a TV show and just relax. If we accomplish that, then we’re perfectly productive then as well.
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This ‘21st-century Syndrome’ is due to two factors:
The brain needs time and space to process information. The breaks we take during work, like talking to a colleague at the watercooler provides a ‘downtime’ and helps process information.
This takes the shape of distractions when we are at home. You could even be problem-solving while quietly doing the laundry at home, as your brain processes the events and information in the background.
Our feelings, emotions and fears remain largely unshared at home, when we are trying to do many things at once, fighting countless battles single-handedly to balance everything.
Not having someone to talk to gets us into distractions, and when we force ourselves to not indulge, it makes us want to do it more.
Online life makes us into a new kind of reader: Our attention fractures. Online reading is about clicks, and comments, and points.
The opposite of the traditional reading ex...
We have become cynical readers – we read in the disjointed, goal-oriented way that online life encourages & we stop exercising our attention.
We read just as much if not more. We live in a text-gorged society in which the most fleeting thought is a thumb-dash away from posterity. It's how we read that changed.
It drives us to engage in activities that we find more meaningful than those at hand. Without it, we’d be perpetually excited by everything.
Research shows that people who are bored...
When we’re consciously doing things we’re using the “executive attention network, ” the parts of the brain that control and inhibit our attention. The attention network makes it possible for us to relate directly to the world presently around us.
By contrast, when our minds wander, we activate the brain’s “default mode network, ” which is the brain “at rest”; not focused on an external, goal-oriented task. In this mode, we still tap about 95% of the energy we use when our brains are engaged in focused thinking.