I’m not going to lie. I have a hard time focusing on anything for much longer than ten minutes. (Unless I’m really stoked about it.)
It’s why many times throughout the day I’ll simply pop open a few extra tabs in my browser and make sure no one needs anything on a Facebook page I help manage.
It’s also why I will often visit twitter or my rss reader. For basically no reason except to break the monotony of whatever it was that I was supposed to be working on but was having trouble focusing on.
The sad thing is that when I break my concentration on a problem, often times I get out of the groove of what I was working on. When do I come back to it… I have to recall all the variables I was using and the parameters I was working in.
Towards the end of last week I discovered a service that has been helping me be able to focus for longer periods of time. (note, I still can’t sit and stare at a screen for 12 hours straight working on a hard code problem, but this has definitely helped.)
I should say that I’ve tried many things as I’ve tried to train myself to focus. I’ve listened to Pandora, I’ve listened to specific playlists on Grooveshark… and a few other things like that. While those things help, there always comes a time when I am suddenly pulled away from what I am trying to do by lyrics being sung or a particularly catchy tune.
Listening to music helps. It always has… but over the past few days of experimentation I’ve really been impressed with Focus at Will and the fact that it has helped me concentrate for a longer periods of time.
Basically what Focus at Will does is gives you a number of different channels to listen to. (My favorite so far has been cinematic or acoustical) All of the music is reengineered to be lyric free and specific to helping focus the mind. In a lot of ways I’d say it’s the Mozart Effect, just simpler for me to use.
If I was you and I needed to concentrate I’d definitely sign up for an account with Focus at Will, they have a free account that lets you listen to a channel for 60 minutes before needing to be reset. (I actually found the 60 minute limit to be kind of helpful because it also creates a “time block” to work in. When the music stops you realize you’ve just worked for an hour and it might be time to take a small break.)
At any rate. I’ve found it really helpful. Maybe you will find it helpful too…
Jay Wilson Jr. says
Great Tip Eldon!
I heard about this site a few years back and never used it. I’d actually forgotten about it until I read your post. This is a resource I will most def add to my toolbox. At times I too struggle with having a short attention span.
Eldon Yoder says
Thanks Jay! I had heard about it a while ago too and totally forgotten about it. I was listening to a podcast last week and they mentioned it… so I thought I’d check it out.