Monday, September 19, 2011

Monk Mind

Monk Mind is an article about single-task focus. It praises being able to focus on a single task at a time in a climate where multi-tasking is much touted.

So for a distracted multi-tasker who switches context every few minutes and finds it difficult to focus on any single task for any length of time, how to regain the ability to focus on just one thing for a set amount of time?

The author of the article has these recommendations assuming the task to be accomplished is on the computer.

First, he says, shut down the Internet connection. Close all windows irrelevant to the task at hand. "Clear your desk. No need to spend all day on this—shove everything in a drawer or put it in a box to be sorted later." Finally, put some music on. These are all rituals to train your mind that an important single task is ahead.

Now focus on that important task, say, for five mintues. Then take one minute off. Do this alternately for half an hour. Then take a longer break. Resume. Next day, do an important task for ten minutes and take two minutes off.

And so on and so forth until there comes a day, when you can concentrate on one task for 30 minutes at a time. No need to go further. After 30 minutes, it's important to take a health break for stretching and walking around for a few minutes.

Being able to focus on a single task for 30 minutes at a time, says the author of the piece, will dramatically improve your life and your ability to get things done.