Improve your concentration with Deep Learning

An image of deep space with many stars - representing deep learning

If you’re anything like me, you probably find yourself constantly looking for a boredom-busting internet hit whenever you’re not actively doing something. Waiting in line? Check Facebook. Walking to work? Listen to a podcast.

You also probably find yourself craving those boredom busters at times when you really need to concentrate — you’re at work and you really need to get something done quickly but you just keep on compulsively clicking over to social media! Procrastination can take many forms, and that’s certainly one of them.

Cal Newport’s book Deep Work suggests that by constantly filling our minds with media and never allowing ourselves to be ‘bored’, we train our minds to expect (and crave) constant gratification. So constantly being on social media can lead your mind to crave more distraction, making it a lot harder to concentrate.

The answer? I’ve picked up on one tip that Newport suggests.

Celebrate concentration

The suggestion is that we shouldn’t feel like distraction is bad — we should celebrate concentration.

What does that mean in practice? It means that you should let yourself be ‘bored’ from time to time and take that as an opportunity to really concentrate. Rather than listen to a podcast whilst travelling to work, concentrate on your — appreciate the sites and the sounds.

There’s definitely some links here to mindfulness (the practice of being aware from moment-to-moment) but there’s kind of more to it than that.

Whilst mindfulness has its own range of benefits, Newport’s suggestion is that by doing this we can train our concentration to be better. If you deny yourself distraction from time to time and get better at concentrating on the present moment, that skill will be more readily available when you need it.

Originally published at Find A Spark.