"Every time you switch your attention from one target to another and then back again, there’s a cost," Cal Newport said in a New York Times interview. "This switching creates an effect that psychologists call attention residue, which can reduce your cognitive capacity for a non-trivial amount of time before it clears." Newport has a new book that explores this and related ideas, called Digital Minimalism.
From the New York Times:
The second rule is to “embrace boredom.” The broader point here is that the ability to concentrate is a skill that you have to train if you expect to do it well. A simple way to get started training this ability is to frequently expose yourself to boredom. If you instead always whip out your phone and bathe yourself in novel stimuli at the slightest hint of boredom, your brain will build a Pavlovian connection between boredom and stimuli, which means that when it comes time to think deeply about something (a boring task, at least in the sense that it lacks moment-to-moment novelty), your brain won’t tolerate it.
I highly recommend McKinley Valentine’s email newsletter, The Whippet. In each issue she presents interesting ideas, art, videos, and articles. Here’s an item from the latest issue (#85): How to survive solitary confinement I like to read things like this, keep it in my pocket, so I worry less about what if it happens. The […]
It’s frustrating to buy an article of clothing from a store, then get home and discover that the ink-filled inventory control tag is still attached. This happened to the Lock Picking Lawyer, but instead of wasting a lot of time returning to the store, he was able to safely remove the tag at home in […]
Lifehacker’s “Evil Week” tips aren’t necessarily evil, or even unethical. They are all a bit sneaky, though, but could come in handy under the right circumstances. For example, if you have to make a phone call and don’t want to get stuck talking to the person tell them your phone’s battery is almost exhausted. Instead […]
Need a boost on that resume? Get a valuable tech education on your own time with these eBook bundles. They contain guides from Packt Publishing that cover everything from game development to machine learning. The Complete Mobile App Developer eBook Bundle It’s a veritable gold rush in the App Store these days. Get in on […]
Vinyl is officially back. People are hearing the proof behind the initial “retro” excitement: that records really do have a richer sound. And if you haven’t switched to old-school records for serious listening, it’s a new golden age. Why? Because quality turntables like the Altec Lansing ALT-500 are finally available to a market other than […]
Between all of our apps, streaming devices, Bluetooth speakers, and energy-sucking decorations, paying for utilities each month can be…brutal. In fact, the average household spends roughly $70 a month on the water bill alone. That number might not seem terribly significant, but when you add it up, that’s $840 a year — a pretty significant […]