We live in a busy loop. We juggle our lives between family, work, health, and relationships. We strive to keep everyone happy by doing a lot, but the fact remains that we rarely get things done. It’s like treading water where you try to tick off a list of tasks from your to-do list. If you think about it, the actual issue here is not time but our focus and energy.
我们生活在一个忙碌的循环中。我们在家庭、工作、健康和人际关系之间权衡生活。我们努力通过做很多事情来让每个人都高兴,但事实是我们很少完成任务。这就像踩水一样,你试图从你的待办事项列表中勾选出一系列任务。如果你仔细想想,现在真正的问题不是时间,而是我们的注意力和精力。

You eat, sleep, wake, and repeat almost 90% of similar tasks every day. But the harsh truth is that it doesn’t lead you anywhere productive. So one remains distracted, kicks the can down the road, and starts procrastinating.

你每天吃饭,睡觉,醒来,并且重复90% 的相似的任务。但残酷的事实是,这不会让你有任何收获。因此,一个人保持分心,踢可以在路上,并开始拖延。

If you lack focus or don’t have sufficient energy, then no amount of time would be sufficient for you. In fact, according to a Harvard study, we spend about 47% wandering our mind.[1] Without proper focus and energy, you will never learn to spend time effectively.

如果你注意力不集中或者没有足够的精力,那么再多的时间对你来说也是不够的。事实上,根据哈佛大学的一项研究,我们大约有47% 的时间在走神。没有适当的注意力和精力,你永远不会学会有效地利用时间。

如何保持注意力集中插图

If you want to achieve more with less time and energy, use this go-to guide to sharpen your focus and concentration today.

如果你想用更少的时间和精力实现更多的目标,那么今天就用这个指南来强化你的注意力和专注力。

I. What Is Focus and How It Works

焦点是什么及其工作原理

We may define focus as the ability to direct our attention towards one task in an all-indulgent manner, concentrating on the aspects related to or the results.

我们可以把注意力集中定义为以一种放纵的方式将注意力集中在一项任务上的能力,将注意力集中在与之相关的方面或结果上。

The majority of people consider focus to measure how intensely you can concentrate on something. This is an aspect of it, but it isn’t the whole picture of what the focus is.

大多数人认为集中注意力是衡量你能集中注意力到什么程度。这是它的一个方面,但它不是焦点的全貌。

Focus is a key pillar in life, as it is the driving force that defines a person’s capacity.

专注是生活中的一个关键支柱,因为它是决定一个人能力的驱动力。

To focus, some people require complete silence and a clutter-free workspace. Some need music or a loud TV, while others need personal mementos, photos of loved ones, or art that has personal significance on their desks to get in the right mindset.

为了集中注意力,有些人需要完全的安静和没有杂乱的工作空间。一些人需要音乐或者大声的电视,而另一些人则需要个人纪念品,爱人的照片,或者在他们桌子上有个人意义的艺术品来获得正确的心态。

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a productive work environment. You must figure out what works best for you and create that space, even if you have to spend some money and effort.

创造一个高效的工作环境并不存在一刀切的方法。你必须找出最适合自己的方式,并创造空间,即使你不得不花费一些金钱和精力。

If you want to avoid having wrong concepts enter your mind, you need a “braking mechanism.” This function is assumed to be carried out by the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) [2], located right behind your temples.

如果你想避免错误的概念进入你的头脑,你需要一个“刹车机制。”这个功能被认为是由位于太阳穴后面的腹外侧脑前额叶外皮(vlpFC)实现的。

So, what is focus?

那么,什么是专注?

Focus = Productivity

焦点 = 生产力

Productivity isn’t something that happens by chance. Focus is the heart of productivity. Getting everything you need and want to do takes forethought and planning and a steady source of drive and focus.

生产力不是偶然发生的。专注是生产力的核心。得到你需要和想要做的一切需要事先考虑和计划,以及一个稳定的动力和注意力来源。

Productivity refers to achieving the best outcome in the shortest time possible. It’s not about how many chores you complete or how neatly your desk is organized.

生产力是指在尽可能短的时间内达到最好的结果。这不是关于你完成了多少家务或者你的桌子整理得有多整齐。

You can expend your energy more efficiently when you have a strong focus. It’s more than just “doing more in less time.” It’s all about “doing more, smarter, and better, regardless of time,” i.e., superior attention helps you get a decent outcome no matter how much or little time you have. That is why high achievers can harvest benefits even when time is limited.

当你有一个强烈的注意力时,你可以更有效地消耗你的精力。这不仅仅是“用更少的时间做更多的事情”这一切都是关于“做得更多,更聪明,更好,不管时间”,也就是说,优越的注意力帮助你得到一个体面的结果,不管你有多少时间。这就是为什么高成就者即使在时间有限的情况下也能获得好处。

When your focus is split between multiple things, it doesn’t concentrate on anything. You may believe that you are concentrating on numerous things simultaneously, but this is not the case. The human brain isn’t designed for it.

当你的注意力分散在很多事情上时,它不会集中在任何事情上。你可能认为自己同时专注于许多事情,但事实并非如此。人类的大脑不是为此而设计的。

A majority of us have been programmed to believe that our brains are capable of multiple concentrations, although physiology contradicts this belief.

我们大多数人都相信我们的大脑能够多次集中注意力,尽管生理学与这一信念相矛盾。

Focus = Intelligence

专注 = 智慧

Intelligence is the ability to interpret and apply information in order to manipulate your surroundings. Intellectual people, on average, have a better ability to concentrate.

智力是为了操纵周围环境而解释和应用信息的能力。一般来说,知识分子有更好的集中注意力的能力。

In reality, your capacity to concentrate is one of the most important indicators of intelligence.[3]

事实上,你集中注意力的能力是智力最重要的指标之一

Whereas the ability to direct your attention and exert mental strength is called the focus. It includes what you think about or avoid thinking about, what you notice or overlook, what you believe about things, how long it takes for you to remember something, how quickly you can ingest and assimilate information, etc.

然而,引导你的注意力和发挥精神力量的能力被称为焦点。它包括你想到什么或者避免想到什么,你注意到什么或者忽略什么,你相信什么,你需要多长时间才能记住什么,你能多快地摄取和吸收信息,等等。

Steelcase, a workplace solutions business, surveyed more than 10,000 employees in 17 countries and discovered that the most intelligent people had the most difficulty focusing.[4] However, they compensate for it with their perseverance and the tendency to go on even if the situations are not favorable. They stretch through the 20 tabs open on their minds and browsers.

工作场所解决方案公司 Steelcase 对17个国家的1万多名员工进行了调查,发现最聪明的人最难集中注意力。然而,他们用他们的毅力和即使情况不好也会继续下去的倾向来弥补。他们在头脑和浏览器上打开20个标签。

When your focus is split between multiple things, it doesn’t concentrate on anything. You may believe that you are concentrating on numerous things simultaneously, but this is not the case. The human brain isn’t designed for it.

当你的注意力分散在很多事情上时,它不会集中在任何事情上。你可能认为自己同时专注于许多事情,但事实并非如此。人类的大脑不是为此而设计的。

Focus Beats Adversity

聚焦战胜逆境

The answer to remaining persistent and resolute is mental fortitude. It reminds us of what we mentioned initially alone would not get you very far.

坚持不懈和果断的答案是坚韧不拔的精神。它提醒我们,我们最初提到的单独不会让你走得很远。

Only if you are focused on the outcome will you receive a better outcome. Maintaining focus in difficult times will help you find better solutions to adversities standing in your way.

只有你专注于结果,你才会得到更好的结果。在困难时期保持专注会帮助你找到更好的解决方案,以应对阻碍你的逆境。

Yes, mental fortitude is uncommon since it simply means that you refuse to give up on your quest for success. How many of us are willing to persevere on a difficult route without succumbing or giving up?

是的,精神坚韧是不常见的,因为它仅仅意味着你拒绝放弃对成功的追求。我们当中有多少人愿意坚持在一条艰难的道路上而不屈服或放弃?

When we lack order at the foundation of our corporate structure, it isn’t easy to maintain the mental fortitude required to thrive. We create our impediment to success if we don’t put our important stressors first.

当我们的企业结构基础缺乏秩序时,要保持蓬勃发展所需的坚韧精神并不容易。如果我们不把重要的压力放在第一位,我们就会制造成功的障碍。

We can only be accountable and dependable if we first deal with our biggest stressors and then move on to the more task-oriented elements. It’s easier and more efficient to assign task-oriented details to others. This allows us to concentrate on situations that require immediate attention.

只有当我们首先处理最大的压力,然后转移到更多任务导向的元素时,我们才能变得负责和可靠。将面向任务的细节分配给其他人更容易、更有效。这使我们能够专注于需要立即关注的情况。

When we’re afraid of failing, it’s too easy to get caught up in the minor details that don’t matter but make us feel like we’re making progress. Do not let this happen to you. Avoiding what is necessary because it is frightening will not help you progress.

当我们害怕失败的时候,我们很容易陷入一些无关紧要的小细节,这些细节让我们觉得我们正在取得进步。别让这种事发生在你身上。因为恐惧而逃避必要的事情不会帮助你进步。

II. Why Can’t I Focus?

为什么我不能集中注意力?

Read about the 8 things that steal your focus.

阅读8件偷走你注意力的事情。

III. Is Multitasking Possible?

多任务处理可行吗?

Read our in-depth guide to multitasking: Multitasking: Is It Good And Can You Actually Master It?.

阅读我们的多任务深度指南: 多任务: 它是好的,你真的能掌握它吗。

IV. How to Sharpen Your Focus And Increase Your Attention Span

如何集中注意力,增加注意力广度

A strong focus is based on three fundamental things:

强烈的关注基于三个基本要素:

Mental Strength: Your mental strength is determined by how firmly you can direct your attention, maintain concentration and uphold your mental energy. When you direct all your energies toward your goals, your mental strength is utilized properly.

精神力量: 你的精神力量取决于你如何坚定地引导你的注意力,保持专注力和维持你的精神力量。当你把所有的精力都集中在你的目标上时,你的精神力量就得到了合理的利用。

Clear Thinking Patterns: These reflect how sharply and efficiently your mind can process information. You cannot focus on any objective or goals if your thinking pattern is disoriented. It is imperative that you keep a clear head when focusing your attention on goals.

清晰的思维模式: 这些模式反映了你的大脑处理信息的速度和效率。如果你的思维模式混乱,你就不能专注于任何目标。当你把注意力集中在目标上时,保持头脑清醒是必要的。

Mindfulness & Awareness: Everyone gets distracted, but your skill to control and manage your mental state to overcome these distractions demonstrates your mindfulness and awareness. Mindfulness also extends to mindful meditation, where one is aware of the present and chooses to live in the present. You can expect better focus when you are completely aware of your present situation.

正念和意识: 每个人都会分心,但是你控制和管理自己的精神状态以克服这些分心的能力证明了你的正念和意识。正念也延伸到正念冥想,在那里你意识到当下并选择活在当下。当你完全意识到自己目前的处境时,你可以期待更好的集中注意力。

Fundamental #1 – Mental Strength

基础 # 1-精神力量

How firmly do you direct your attention, concentrate and maintain your mental energy? Here are the key factors that influence your capacity for Mental Strength:

你如何坚定地引导你的注意力,集中和保持你的精神能量?以下是影响你精神力量的关键因素:

Your Focus Muscle

你的专注力

Your mental power determines how well you can focus your attention, retain your concentration, and sustain your mental energy. It signifies that your mental strength is adequately utilized when you put all your energies toward your goals.

你的精神力量决定了你如何集中你的注意力,保持你的注意力,并维持你的精神能量。它意味着当你把所有的精力放在你的目标上时,你的精神力量得到了充分的利用。

Staying focused is an ongoing process, and it will get easier as you practice. Strengthening your concentration muscle will help you focus better. For success in education, work, and life, the ability to focus is essential.

保持专注是一个持续的过程,随着你的练习,它会变得越来越容易。加强你的注意力肌肉会帮助你更好地集中注意力。要想在教育、工作和生活中取得成功,集中注意力的能力是必不可少的。

Eastern religious meditation practices have influenced a lot of Western ideas about mindfulness.

东方的宗教冥想实践影响了许多西方关于正念的观念。

The supreme emptiness that permeates everything else, for example, is the focus of some Buddhist meditations, while in Zen meditation, the emphasis is on not thinking about anything in particular but rather on being aware of everything that is happening around you. Even while meditating, some Zen masters will keep their eyes open. [5]

比如说,弥漫在其他所有事物中的极度空虚,是一些佛教冥想的重点,而在禅宗冥想中,重点是不去思考任何特定的事情,而是意识到发生在你周围的一切。即使在打坐的时候,一些禅师也会睁着眼睛。[5]

The mind-muscle connection can be summarized as a deliberate and conscious muscle contraction. Passively moving weight versus actively moving weight is determined by your ability to direct the tension you create during exercise toward a specific muscle or group of muscles.

思维-肌肉的联系可以概括为一种深思熟虑的有意识的肌肉收缩。被动移动的重量和主动移动的重量取决于你是否有能力把你在运动中产生的紧张情绪引导到特定的肌肉或者一组肌肉上。

Is Relying On Willpower A Good Idea?

依靠意志力是个好主意吗?

But don’t we also have the willpower for that?

但我们不是也有意志力吗?

Yes, we do! But we cannot rely solely on willpower. The willpower of a person is never stable. Effective willpower takes time to develop. It’s preferable to think of willpower as an added advantage to the underlying processes that enable you to succeed even when your willpower fails.

不,我们有!但我们不能仅仅依靠意志力。一个人的意志力永远不会稳定。有效的意志力需要时间来培养。最好把意志力看作是潜在过程的一个附加优势,即使你的意志力失败了,它也能使你成功。

Why?

为什么?

Because, in a sense, willpower is limited. Numerous factors lead to fluctuation in your willpower. Your age, life circumstances, support system, etc., directly impact how strong you can be based on willpower. If you think about it, how can you depend on your willpower when you are unsure if your willpower can sustain itself independently?

因为,在某种意义上,意志力是有限的。许多因素导致你意志力的波动。你的年龄、生活环境、支持系统等,直接影响你的意志力。如果你仔细想想,当你不确定你的意志力是否能独立维持时,你怎么能依靠你的意志力呢?

To put it another way, no one can maintain superhuman discipline and control every single minute of the day. And, let’s face it, willpower is no match for crying kids when you’re trying to meditate, freezing temperatures when you’re out for a walk, or a box of donuts at work when you forgot to have breakfast.

换句话说,没有人能够维持超人的纪律和控制一天中的每一分钟。而且,让我们面对现实吧,当你试图冥想时,意志力比不上哭泣的孩子; 当你外出散步时,意志力比不上冰冻的温度; 当你忘记吃早餐时,意志力比不上工作时的一盒甜甜圈。

All of this indicates that relying solely on willpower will not help you reach your objectives in the long run.

Raw Force Of Concentration And Willpower Is What You Need

To improve your focus, you need the raw force of concentration and willpower. It refers to how strongly you can consciously direct your attention towards something and how long you can hold that level of attention.

Microsoft conducted a study in 2015 that found that the average human attention span is 8 seconds – less than that of a goldfish [6]. However, due to the above distractions and notifications, this number has decreased. Rather than focusing on a single task, the human brain is better equipped to seek new experiences.

You won’t be able to learn in class, study at home, listen in on conversations, fulfill your work duties, or safely do chores like slicing vegetables and driving a car if you can’t pay attention when you need to. Executive function is also heavily dependent on the ability to focus.

You need to pay attention to the force of concentration clubbed with willpower. It will help you sharpen your focus and increase your attention span.

How To Develop Focus Muscle?

The brain is a muscle, and it can be trained like any other physical body muscle. Your brain is in charge of maintaining focus. When you work a muscle and then rest it, it will grow stronger. Developing focus muscle is an ongoing process, and it will get easier as you practice.

You need to practice resistance training and do activities that push your mental strength beyond your comfort zone. Simple techniques like focus push, moving the needle, and discipline to go the extra step are some of the ways to develop focus muscle.

For example, even when tired, gather the energy to make your bed or finish washing those dishes kept in the sink. The more your push your focus, the more it develops your focus muscles.

When your mind wanders, the attention muscle brings it back to your task. That is pretty much how artists and sportspersons maintain their focus. It shows that nobody’s focus starts with superhuman strength. One needs to make that happen, and the top performers train their focus muscles just like a daily workout to keep them sharp.

当你走神时,注意力肌肉会把它带回到你的任务上。艺术家和运动员就是这样保持专注的。这说明没有人的注意力是从怪力开始的。一个人需要做到这一点,顶尖的表演者训练他们的专注肌肉就像每天锻炼一样,以保持他们的锐利。

Your Mental Energy

你的精神能量

The ability or willingness to carry out cognitive tasks such as problem-solving, maintaining attention, dictating emotions, focusing, and making decisions is called mental energy. We need mental energy just as much as we need physical energy to climb a set of stairs or lift a heavy object. It is the fuel reserve that you need to apply your Focus Muscle.

执行认知任务的能力或意愿,例如解决问题、保持注意力、控制情绪、集中注意力和做决定,被称为心理能量。我们需要精神能量,就像我们需要身体能量来爬楼梯或举起重物一样。这是燃料储备,你需要运用你的集中肌肉。

How well you manage your mental energy determines how effectively your Focus Muscle works. Therefore, it is essential to learn to manage your mental energy.

你如何管理你的精神能量决定了你的注意力肌肉如何有效地工作。因此,学会管理你的精神能量是非常重要的。

Brain fog and the inability to focus are common symptoms of low mental energy. A lack of mental energy can be caused by various factors, such as being pulled in many directions at once, having to juggle personal, family, and work obligations, or simply being overstimulated by your surroundings.

头脑混乱和无法集中注意力是精力不足的常见症状。精神能量的缺乏可以由多种因素引起,比如同时被拉向多个方向,不得不兼顾个人、家庭和工作义务,或者仅仅是被周围的环境过度刺激。

Do you know how your muscles get tired and need a break when you work out? Or are you attempting to persuade yourself not to complete the final rep?

你知道当你锻炼的时候,你的肌肉是如何疲劳和需要休息的吗?还是你在试图说服自己不要完成最后的报告?

The same principles apply to the workings of the brain.

同样的原理也适用于大脑的运作。

To improve your ability to focus, you must first train your brain.

为了提高你的注意力,你必须首先训练你的大脑。

Focused, uninterrupted time spent on one task is what training is all about. This is the number of repetitions in a set you perform when working out.

集中,不间断的时间花在一个任务是什么训练的全部。这是你在锻炼时执行的一组重复次数。

To train means to practice the skill repeatedly. You want to be able to enter a state of flow at least a few times a day. This is how many sets you do at the gym.

训练意味着反复练习。你希望每天至少有几次能够进入心流状态。这是你在健身房练习的次数。

Each muscle has a finite amount of strength, either diminishing from inactivity or growing stronger from purposeful exercise. Both require rest after intense exertion to restore their strength and stamina.

每块肌肉的力量都是有限的,要么因为不活动而减弱,要么因为有目的的锻炼而变得更强壮。他们都需要在剧烈运动后休息来恢复体力和耐力。

You get the same feeling of internal dread/doubt right before starting an intense workout – the one that says, “I’m not sure I want to do this” – as you do right before deciding whether or not to read a long article, and in both cases, you have to make up your mind, bite down, and get started.

在开始剧烈运动之前,你会有同样的内心恐惧/怀疑的感觉,就像你在决定是否阅读一篇长文之前所做的一样,在这两种情况下,你必须下定决心,咬紧牙关,开始运动。

Fundamental #2 – Clear Thinking Patterns

基础 # 2-清晰的思维模式

How sharply and efficiently your mind processes information? We can help improve this through:

你的大脑处理信息的速度和效率如何? 我们可以通过以下方法来帮助你:

Efficient Mental Models

高效心智模型

Thinking requires mental energy. We waste a lot of energy over-thinking things or thinking about things that don’t matter. Mental Models make your thinking more effective by simplifying complicated concepts and making decision making faster and easier.

思考需要精神能量。我们浪费了很多精力去想那些无关紧要的事情。心智模型通过简化复杂的概念和做出更快更容易的决策使你的思维更有效。

Here’re some examples:

下面是一些例子:

Smart Information Management

智能资讯管理

We are bombarded with a tremendous amount of information every day and this sometimes tends to blur our thinking. The key to clear thinking is managing all the information adroitly. You need to adopt a smart information management system so that you can use every piece of information to your advantage.

我们每天都被大量的信息轰炸,这有时会使我们的思维变得模糊。清晰思维的关键是熟练地管理所有的信息。您需要采用一个智能信息管理系统,以便能够利用每一条信息。

Here’re some problems our brain is facing today:

以下是我们的大脑今天面临的一些问题:

Information Overload

信息超载

The information we have access to has grown exponentially. We have greater access to information than we have ever had in all of the histories of humanity.

我们能接触到的信息成倍增长。我们获得的信息比人类历史上任何时候都要多。

With the advent of the internet, almost every comprehensible information is available at your fingertips. If you want to find out a particular recipe, just Google it! Looking for information on Mars? Just visit the NASA website or a similar erudite online resource.

随着互联网的出现,几乎所有可理解的信息都在你的指尖。如果你想找到一个特定的食谱,只要谷歌它!寻找关于火星的信息?只要访问美国宇航局的网站或类似的博学在线资源。

You can literally find extensive material on any subject and feed the information to your brain till you get tired.

你可以在任何主题上找到大量的材料,然后把这些信息输入你的大脑,直到你感到疲倦。

But what happens when you demand more from your brain than its capacity?

但是当你对大脑的需求超过它的能力时会发生什么呢?

When the brain is repeatedly asked to do more than it can, the result is always mental exhaustion. As a result, this is the major effect of information overload, in which the mind cannot keep up with the massive amount of data it must process.

当大脑被反复要求做比它能做的更多的事情时,结果往往是精神疲惫。因此,这就是信息超载的主要作用,即大脑无法跟上它必须处理的大量数据。

Mental fatigue causes decreased productivity, increased dissatisfaction due to failure, and stress from hard labor or comparison to peers.[7] Think about it – when you are extremely tired, you will not be able to work with your usual gusto or passion. A stressful state of mind will not only delay the decision making process, but also you from taking action.

精神疲劳导致生产力下降,由于失败而增加的不满,以及来自艰苦劳动或与同龄人比较的压力。想想看,当你极度疲惫的时候,你将无法保持平时的兴致或激情工作。一种紧张的心态不仅会延迟你做决定的过程,而且会让你无法采取行动。

Weakened Focus

削弱了我的注意力

Our mind can only process a particular amount of information at a given point in time. When we try to feed irrelevant or unrequired information to it at the time of making important decisions, it would lead to unnecessary stress.

我们的大脑只能在给定的时间点处理特定数量的信息。当我们试图在做重要决定时向它提供不相关或不必要的信息时,它会导致不必要的压力。

For example, when you see an unread email while doing a task, your effective IQ drops to 10 points [8] Even young individuals, who have grown up in a world awash with online distractions, appear to require unbroken periods to execute difficult activities effectively. As a clear sign, this weakens your focus when your mind cannot process the right information at the right time.

例如,当你在做任务时看到一封未读邮件,你的有效智商就会下降到10点[8]即使是在充满网络干扰的世界中长大的年轻人,似乎也需要不间断的时间来有效地执行困难的活动。作为一个明显的信号,当你的大脑不能在正确的时间处理正确的信息时,这会削弱你的注意力。

Therefore, when you need to process more information for a decision, you need to divert your focus to the quality of information rather than the quantity. When you do not practice information-quality control, the additional information will mess up the thinking process.

因此,当您需要为决策处理更多的信息时,您需要将注意力转移到信息的质量而不是数量上。当你不实践信息质量控制时,额外的信息会把思考过程搞得一团糟。

Chaotic Information

混沌信息

Our mind is filled with chaotic amounts of information. Some ideas are relevant and beneficial, while others are irrelevant and counterproductive. These include random facts, commercials, and everyday news. Every minute, numerous thoughts are churned out of the human mind, which works like a vast factory of welcome and unwelcome thoughts.

我们的大脑充满了混乱的信息量。有些想法是相关的和有益的,而另一些是无关的和适得其反的。这些包括随机事实、广告和日常新闻。每一分钟,无数的想法从人的头脑中涌出,就像一个巨大的欢迎和不欢迎的想法工厂。

However, waves of activity sweep your cortex at night, eliminating anything that hasn’t been labeled to be stored.[9] Since there is too much information, our brain often gets confused with processing the necessary information.

然而,一波波的活动会在晚上扫描你的大脑皮层,消除所有没有标记要储存的东西。[9]由于信息太多,我们的大脑经常在处理必要的信息时感到困惑。

Our task is to carefully separate the thoughts and only focus on the useful ones while ignoring the others.

我们的任务是仔细分离思想,只关注有用的,而忽略其他的。

A Simple System To Manage Information Proactively

一个简单的信息管理系统

The human brain has a clever mechanism for identifying crucial events: it picks out a few items we see or hear and holds on to them, examining them more thoroughly to make sense of them. This is called Selective Attention — meaning paying close attention to only a few of the items our senses detect. This keeps us from becoming overwhelmed by the many things we see, hear, and feel.

人类的大脑有一个聪明的机制来识别关键事件: 它挑选出一些我们看到或听到的东西,并保留它们,更彻底地检查它们,使它们变得有意义。这就是所谓的选择性注意力,意思是只密切关注我们的感官检测到的一小部分事物。这使我们不会被我们看到、听到和感觉到的许多事情所淹没。

Paying attention, according to neuroscientists, consists of two parts [10]:

根据神经科学家的说法,注意力由两部分组成[10] :

  1. Picking important things out of the continual flow of information that reaches our senses (for example, sight, hearing, and touch), and
  2. 从到达我们感官(例如,视觉、听觉和触觉)的持续信息流中挑选重要的东西,并且
  3. Safeguarding these important things from being overridden by less important pieces of information.
  4. 保护这些重要的事情不被不太重要的信息所覆盖。

Selective Attention is the best way to filter unnecessary information and process the important information. To understand what information your mind needs to retain and what doesn’t, here’s what you can do:

选择性注意是过滤不必要信息和处理重要信息的最佳方法。为了理解你的大脑需要保留哪些信息,哪些不需要,你可以这样做:

1. When Seeking Information On The Internet, Keep A Clear Goal
1、在网上查找信息时,要有明确的目标

Decide beforehand, what specific information you will seek on the internet. Do not let distractions divert your attention. You don’t have to pay attention to everything that you read or see. Learn to keep integrating the data to help you avoid knowledge gaps.

事先决定,你将在互联网上寻找什么样的具体信息。不要让干扰分散你的注意力。你不必关注你读到或看到的所有东西。了解如何不断集成数据,以帮助您避免知识差距。

One of the best ways to keep focus while searching the internet is to maintain an external digital file to collect the relevant information. Alternatively, you can also use a writing pad to keep notes of only the required information. This would allow us to stay focused on the goals and only peruse the relevant information.

在搜寻互联网时,保持注意力集中的最佳方法之一是保存一个外部数字文件,以收集相关信息。或者,您也可以使用写字板只记录所需的信息。这将使我们能够专注于目标,只仔细阅读相关信息。

2. Do Not Give Attention To All The Information You Review
2. 不要把你复习的所有信息都放在心上

Not every piece of information you gather will be relevant. Your prime focus should be only on details or information that is related to the task at hand. Avoid giving attention to everything line-by-line.

不是你收集到的每一条信息都有用。你的主要注意力应该只集中在与手头任务相关的细节或信息上。避免一行一行地注意每一件事。

You can skip through the sections or segments that are irrelevant. It would help you save time and more importantly you can stay focused on finding the required information.

3. Process Information With An Open And Objective Mind

One of the prime purposes of information gathering is to gather knowledge. Had you already been aware of the subject, you wouldn’t have scouted elsewhere. Therefore, while processing the information, you must avoid making assumptions and look at the information with an open and objective mind. It would help you make a judicious and informed decision.

4. Organize The Information You Receive So That You May Read Less And Think More Deeply

“Bottom line is, if you do not use it or need it, it’s clutter, and it needs to go.”– Charisse Ward

Organizing the information will help study the details properly. You can start by eliminating all the non-essential emails from your inbox. If needed, you can also use technology like Google Docs or Word documents to remember information that you don’t need for an immediate task.

5. Take Regular Breaks For Your Brain To Avoid Information Overload

Breaks can help to decrease or prevent stress, help to sustain performance throughout the day, and lessen the need for a long recuperation at the end of the day, according to studies. [11]

If you want to improve your focus then try disconnecting from the internet and going entirely offline. Also, try to meditate once a day, right before going to bed. According to some studies, meditation and mindfulness techniques may have an impact on the brain’s structure and function. [12]

Develop A Digital Brain

开发数字化大脑

Learn more about how to develop a digital brain here.

你可在此了解如何发展数码大脑。

Fundamental #3 – Mindfulness & Awareness

基础 # 3-正念与意识

Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention on purpose, moment by minute, to one’s internal and external experiences, including thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, as well as the external world.

正念是一种有目的、一分一秒地关注一个人的内部和外部经验的实践,包括思想、感觉、身体感觉以及外部世界。

An active inquiry into the nature and functioning of the mind, awareness meditation draws on the qualities of presence cultivated through mindfulness practice.[13]

意识冥想是对心灵的本质和功能的一种积极探究,它利用通过正念实践所培养的存在的品质。[13]

Mindfulness and awareness depend on how skillfully you control and manage your mental state and overcome distractions. You can use these key elements to improve awareness and mindfulness:

正念和意识取决于你如何巧妙地控制和管理你的精神状态和克服分心。你可以利用这些关键因素来提高意识和正念:

Clear Intention

目的明确

Having clear intentions resonates with being aware and in control of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

拥有清晰的意图与意识到自己在做什么以及为什么要做这件事并对其进行控制产生共鸣。

Most people are led by their thoughts instead of leading their thoughts. It means they passively follow every thread of thought without really being aware of it.

大多数人被他们的思想所引导,而不是被他们的思想所引导。这意味着他们被动地跟随每一个思想线索,而没有真正意识到它。

It’s amazing and baffling how our minds work. It aids in the development of creative approaches to challenging issues. When we think back on a past experience, we can relive it in vivid detail, even if we weren’t physically present at the time.

我们的大脑是如何工作的,这是令人惊讶和困惑的。它有助于发展具有挑战性的问题的创造性方法。当我们回想过去的经历时,我们可以在生动的细节中重温它,即使我们当时并不在场。

However, one’s own ideas have the potential to confine one with worry, stress, and terror.[14] The mind may be a dangerous place if not kept in check. You’re stuck in a never-ending loop of self-doubt that keeps you from trying anything new. That way of thinking prevents you from seeing the world and taking the necessary steps toward success.

然而,一个人自己的想法有可能把他限制在担忧、压力和恐惧之中。[14]如果不加以控制,头脑可能是一个危险的地方。你陷入了一个永无止境的自我怀疑的循环,这使你无法尝试任何新的东西。这种思维方式使你无法看到这个世界,无法采取必要的步骤走向成功。

1. Be Aware Of What You’re Doing And Why You’re Doing It

1. 清楚自己在做什么,为什么要这么做

A growing body of evidence suggests that focusing on the here-and-now, both in terms of one’s internal experiences and those of the external world, can have positive effects on mental health.[15] That’s why it’s crucial to master the art of mental self-discipline.

越来越多的证据表明,专注于此时此地,无论是从一个人的内部经验还是外部世界的经验来看,都可以对心理健康产生积极的影响。[15]这就是为什么掌握心理自律的艺术是至关重要的。

For instance, you suddenly feel hungry and start thinking about what to eat for dinner, leading you to think of what you ate last night, etc. All this can be termed as an internal distraction. Some thoughts that occur to you that fall under the category of stuff you could be doing right now.

例如,你突然觉得饿了,开始思考晚餐吃什么,导致你想起你昨晚吃了什么,等等。所有这些都可以说是一种内在的干扰。有些想法出现在你的脑海中,属于你现在可以做的事情的范畴。

The mind is a fickle thing, it wanders, but thankfully, we have the power to identify such internal distractions and work towards eliminating them as far as possible.

头脑是一个变化无常的东西,它会走神,但幸运的是,我们有能力识别这些内在的干扰,并尽可能地消除它们。

When the mind is not at peace, it welcomes all kinds of alternative thoughts. This is the main cause of internal distraction because you are expending huge amounts of mental energy thinking about things other than what you’re supposed to be focusing on.

当心灵不平静时,它欢迎各种不同的想法。这是内在分心的主要原因,因为你花费了大量的精力去思考那些你不应该关注的事情。

When your mind is in the midst of making a mental shift from one task to the next is when you are most vulnerable to distraction. When switching gears, you could decide to do something “only for a moment,” but your brain quickly becomes engrossed in the new task.

当你的大脑正在从一个任务转换到下一个任务时,你最容易分心。当你换档的时候,你可以决定做一些“只是一会儿”的事情,但是你的大脑很快就会全神贯注于新的任务。

So, how to do it?

那么,该怎么做呢?

To begin, understand that you can only choose your response to adversity. Focus on what you can do right now to achieve the outcomes you desire. Stop dwelling on things you don’t have control of at the moment. Simply prepare for the best.

首先,要明白你只能选择你对逆境的反应。把注意力集中在你现在能做的事情上,以达到你想要的结果。不要再纠结于你现在无法控制的事情。做好最好的准备。

2. Setting Priority

2. 确定优先次序

You can only set priorities if you have a clear intention. Otherwise, all priorities seem important simultaneously. While we like prioritizing our tasks, we frequently overlook what is truly important. Rather than focusing on urgent but ineffective tasks, consider which activities yield the best results.

只有当你有一个明确的目标时,你才能设定优先级。否则,所有优先事项似乎同时都很重要。虽然我们喜欢优先处理我们的任务,但是我们经常忽略真正重要的事情。与其关注紧急但无效的任务,不如考虑哪些活动能产生最好的结果。

Prioritizing entails cohesively organizing all of your activities. You prioritize them based on their importance and utility. This enables you to make the most efficient use of your resources and energy.

优先排序需要连贯地组织所有的活动。您根据它们的重要性和实用性对它们进行优先排序。这使您能够最有效地利用您的资源和能源。

You begin by focusing on the most significant aspects of the situation. Then you work your way forward until all of your day’s resources have been depleted. The most important task receives the most attention this way.

你首先要关注情况中最重要的方面。然后你继续前进,直到你一天的资源耗尽。最重要的任务通过这种方式得到最多的关注。

To prioritize effectively, try the Superstructure Method.

为了有效地进行优先排序,可以尝试上层结构方法。

Before commencing on any project at Lifehack, we always follow a simple foundation. We might start by simplifying things by doing it as a fast exercise.

在 Lifehack 开始任何项目之前,我们总是遵循一个简单的基础。我们可以从简化事情开始,把它作为一个快速练习。

It’s known as the “MoSCoW Analysis” in corporate language. The Superstructure Method is what we call it at Lifehack (because it sounds cooler to us!)

这在公司语言中被称为“莫斯科分析”。上层结构方法就是我们在 Lifehack 上称之为的方法(因为我们觉得它听起来更酷!)

Here’s how it works:

它是这样运作的:

We begin by setting a clear goal for ourselves. What is your goal? What are we attempting to accomplish?

我们首先为自己设定一个明确的目标。你的目标是什么? 我们试图实现什么?

Then we make a list of all the activities or actions that must be completed in order to attain the goal.

然后我们列出为了达到目标必须完成的所有活动或行动。

From this list, we categorize them into one of three things:

从这个列表中,我们将它们分为三类:

  1. Must-haves – Absolutely critical to achieving the objective. Without it, the result we want is meaningless.
  2. 必备品——对于实现目标至关重要。没有它,我们想要的结果就毫无意义。
  3. Should-haves – Important but not critical. However, leaving it out may lessen the quality of the final result.
  4. 应该——重要但不是关键。然而,省略它可能会降低最终结果的质量。
  5. Good to haves – Having it is nice, but not including it won’t have any negative impact on our objective.
  6. 拥有的好——拥有它是好的,但是不包括它不会对我们的目标产生任何负面影响。

The Superstructure Method provides us with incredible clarity and focus, ensuring that the resources we invest are always put to the best possible use. We use it for things like research, learning new skills, and even meetings because it’s so handy.

上层建筑方法为我们提供了令人难以置信的清晰度和重点,确保我们投入的资源始终得到最佳利用。我们用它来做研究,学习新技能,甚至开会,因为它很方便。

One of the best things about using the Superstructure method is that you can apply it to every aspect of life. Even though the idea of Superstructure started from the work at Lifehack, now it is used everywhere. For example, you can apply the simple steps while moving houses, planning a holiday, creating a diet plan, or chalking out your exercise schedule.

使用上层建筑方法最好的事情之一就是你可以把它应用到生活的方方面面。尽管上层建筑的概念起源于 Lifehack 的工程,但现在它被广泛使用。例如,你可以在搬家、计划度假、制定饮食计划或制定运动计划时采用这些简单的步骤。

Here’s an example on how to make use of the Superstructure Method:

下面是一个如何使用上层建筑法的例子:

  • Let’s say you want to lose weight. So set out by laying a clear goal that you wish you lose weight by ____ kgs/lbs.
  • 假设你想减肥。因此,设定一个明确的目标,你希望你减肥 _ _ _ _ kgs/lbs。
  • Now determine what must be done to achieve your goal. You can jot down all the options such as dieting, hitting the gym, quitting junk food, jogging, etc.
  • 现在决定为了实现你的目标必须做些什么。你可以记下所有的选择,比如节食,去健身房,戒掉垃圾食品,慢跑等等。
  • The next step is to bifurcate your options into “must haves” (which can be quitting junk food), “should haves” (like exercising, jogging, etc.), and “good to haves” (dieting)
  • 下一步是把你的选择分成“必须拥有”(可以是戒掉垃圾食品)、“应该拥有”(如锻炼、慢跑等)和“好的拥有”(节食)

There’s only so much you can accomplish in a day, no matter how well you prioritize, and some distractions are unavoidable. When it comes to creating objectives and prioritizing activities, it’s critical to be realistic. You’ll build unrealistic expectations of others around you if you don’t, and you’ll always feel like you’re slipping behind.

一天中你能完成的事情只有这么多,不管你的优先顺序排得多好,有些分心的事情是不可避免的。当涉及到创建目标和确定活动的优先级时,务实是至关重要的。如果你不这样做,你会对周围的人产生不切实际的期望,而且你总是感觉自己落后了。

Remember that the goal of prioritization is to devote time to the most important tasks, those that will make a difference in the long term and propel you forward.

记住,优先排序的目标是把时间花在最重要的任务上,那些能够在长期内产生影响并推动你前进的任务。

You’ll feel less reactive and more focused and intentional if you handle prioritization correctly. The goal is to finish work that represents genuine progress while letting the rest—all the “busyness”—fall by the wayside.

如果你正确地处理优先级,你会感到更少的被动反应,更加专注和有意识。我们的目标是完成代表真正进步的工作,同时让其余的工作ーー所有的“忙碌”ーー半途而废。

Mindful Habits

注意习惯

There are many times in our daily lives when we feel fully overwhelmed by personal and professional duties. We strive for work-life balance on a daily basis, yet we are just human. We go about our daily lives without pausing to consider what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.

在我们的日常生活中,有很多时候我们感到被个人和职业的责任完全淹没。我们每天都在努力平衡工作和生活,然而我们只是普通人。我们在日常生活中没有停下来思考我们在做什么,为什么要这么做。

To be fully aware of your emotions, you must first comprehend your mental process. If you’re experiencing a strong feeling, such as anger or sadness, and you know what idea or action prompted the emotion, you’ll be able to cope with it more effectively and avoid acting rashly. Practicing such mindful habits can help you deal with a challenging situation in a new way and can significantly improve your attitude.

要完全意识到你的情绪,你必须首先理解你的心理过程。如果你正在经历一种强烈的情绪,比如愤怒或悲伤,并且你知道是什么想法或行动引起了这种情绪,你将能够更有效地处理它,避免鲁莽行事。练习这些有意识的习惯可以帮助你以一种新的方式处理具有挑战性的情况,并且可以显著改善你的态度。

Our consciousness is always focused outward. It constantly reacts to our environment. And this sometimes leads to a build-up of stress, the strain on mental energy, and weakened focus. To ensure that you stay away from the negative impacts, it is important to practice mindful habits.

我们的意识总是向外聚焦。它不断地对我们的环境做出反应。这有时会导致压力的积累,精神能量的压力,以及注意力的削弱。为了确保你远离负面影响,练习留心的习惯是很重要的。

The practice of mindfulness aids the development of new neural networks in the brain. You’re essentially retraining your brain to find better and new methods to handle activities and cope with stress and emotions through creating neural networks. You’re also assisting yourself in improving your focus.

正念的练习有助于大脑中新的神经网络的发展。你实际上是在重新训练你的大脑,通过创建神经网络来找到更好的、新的方法来处理活动、应对压力和情绪。你也在帮助自己提高注意力。

When you are mindful, you are fully aware of every thought, emotion, and action that occurs in your life. You concentrate on the present time before reacting rashly. Mindfulness is essential for ensuring that we have clarity on the many things for which we are responsible in our life.

当你正念的时候,你完全意识到你生活中发生的每一个想法、情绪和行动。你先把注意力集中在当下,然后才轻率地做出反应。正念对于确保我们对生活中我们所负责的许多事情有清晰的认识是必不可少的。

Researchers reviewed more than 200 studies of mindfulness among healthy people and found mindfulness-based therapy was especially effective for reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Mindfulness can also help treat people with specific problems, including depression, pain, smoking, and addiction.[16] Researchers believe the benefits of mindfulness are related to its ability to dial down the body’s response to stress.[17]

研究人员回顾了200多项关于健康人正念的研究,发现以正念为基础的治疗对减轻压力、焦虑和抑郁特别有效。正念也可以帮助治疗有特殊问题的人,包括抑郁、疼痛、吸烟和成瘾。[16]研究人员认为,正念的好处与其降低身体对压力的反应能力有关。[17]

Here’s how to make mindfulness part of your regular routine:

以下是如何使正念成为你日常生活的一部分:

1. Focus On Your Breathing When You Feel Distracted
当你感到心烦意乱时,专注于你的呼吸

As per research, slow, regulated breathing was found to be associated with improved feelings of wellbeing, relaxation, and mental clarity. Adult volunteers trained in diaphragmatic or “belly” breath exercises for eight weeks had a significant decrease in the stress hormone cortisol, as well as an improvement in their ability to pay attention for long periods of time.[18]

根据研究,缓慢的、有规律的呼吸被发现与幸福感、放松和精神清晰度的提高有关。成年志愿者接受了为期八周的膈肌呼吸训练,他们的应激激素皮质醇水平显著下降,长时间集中注意力的能力也有所提高。[18]

Use the 4-7-8 breath when you feel distracted. Inhale deeply while counting to four, then hold your breath while counting to seven, and then exhale slowly while counting to eight. There will be a total of four times this pattern is repeated. Simply return to the breath and the counting whenever you find yourself distracted during the mindful meditation.

当你感到心烦意乱时,使用4-7-8呼吸法。数到四时深吸气,数到七时屏住呼吸,数到八时慢慢呼气。这种模式总共会重复四次。当你在冥想时发现自己心烦意乱的时候,只要回到呼吸和数数。

如何保持注意力集中插图1

2. Try The Reel It In Method
2. 尝试用卷线法

Reel It In Method is a practical strategy that you can apply to overcome your distractions.

收线方法是一个实用的策略,你可以应用来克服你的分心。

Besides helping you to immediately transform a distraction into something useful, practicing this method as a mental exercise helps you to strengthen your focus muscle.

除了帮助你立即将分心转化为有用的东西,练习这种方法作为一种心理练习可以帮助你加强你的注意力肌肉。

This method is for the 90% of distractions where you have a choice — whether to click on that Facebook notification, reply to the WhatsApp message right away, or worry about that thing you have to do next week right now.

这种方法适用于90% 那些你可以选择的让你分心的事情ーー是点击 Facebook 的通知,立即回复 WhatsApp 的消息,还是担心你下周要做的事情。

With the “Reel It In” Method, you’ll be able to make the right choice to take every time. In fact, with each new distraction, you’ll make a choice even more concrete.

使用“收线”方法,你将能够做出正确的选择,采取每一次。事实上,每分散一次注意力,你就会做出一个更具体的选择。

Step 1: Clear Your Mind
第一步: 清除杂念

Let’s begin with a little mental exercise and go through a typical distraction scenario:

让我们从一个小小的心理练习开始,经历一个典型的分散注意力的场景:

Say a distraction comes from an external source like an email notification, a Facebook post on your feed, or a message from a friend; or from an internal source like a stray thought, a lingering worry at the back of your mind, or something you suddenly remembered.

比如说,分心来自外部,比如电子邮件通知、 Facebook 上的帖子、朋友发来的信息; 或者来自内部,比如一个偏离的想法、脑海中挥之不去的担忧,或者你突然想起的某件事。

Your snap/default reflex is to quickly jump to the distraction. To read that email, scroll through Facebook, etc.

你的快速/默认反应是迅速转移注意力,阅读邮件,浏览 Facebook 等等。

Now imagine this time you STOP and practice a little bit of mindfulness.

现在想象一下,这次你停下来,练习一点正念。

Before you act, do a quick and simple breathing exercise that only takes a few seconds instead:

在你采取行动之前,做一个快速而简单的呼吸练习,这个练习只需要几秒钟就可以完成:

  • Close your eyes.
  • 闭上眼睛。
  • Take a deep breath and hold it in for a count of 5.
  • 深呼吸,数到5。
  • Then exhale. And as you exhale, imagine your mind releasing all the things it’s holding on to.
  • 然后呼气,当你呼气的时候,想象你的大脑在释放所有它抓住的东西。
  • If it takes more than one breath, then take a few more. Each time you exhale, feel your mind releasing.
  • 如果呼吸不止一次,那就再多呼吸几次。每次呼气时,感觉你的大脑在放松。
Step 2: Gain Instant Presence
第二步: 获得即时存在感

Bring yourself back to NOW — this moment.

把你自己带回到“现在”——这个时刻。

Imagine that your mind has lines connecting to different things that are drawing your attention. They could be things you’re worried about, things you have to think about, or things you have to remember.

想象一下,你的大脑中有一条线连接着不同的事物,这些事物正在吸引你的注意力。它们可能是你担心的事情,你必须思考的事情,或者你必须记住的事情。

Now imagine reeling these lines back in… like a fishing rod.

现在想象一下把这些线收回去,就像钓鱼竿一样。

You are returning your attention back to yourself. Recentre your focus.

你的注意力又回到了自己身上,重新集中注意力。

Tell yourself: “Nothing matters except this moment.”

告诉自己: “除了这一刻,什么都不重要。”

Instant presence is important because you are literally living in this moment. The past is the past. The future hasn’t happened yet.

即时的存在是很重要的,因为你确实活在当下。过去的就让它过去吧。未来还没有发生。

Too often, we act based on the past, which we can’t change; or future fears/worries which we are not set in stone.

太多时候,我们的行为基于我们无法改变的过去,或者未来的恐惧/担忧,而这些恐惧/担忧并不是我们一成不变的。

What you do now is what really matters. This moment is your reality.

你现在所做的才是真正重要的,这一刻就是你的现实。

Now, to refocus, ask yourself these questions:

现在,重新集中注意力,问你自己这些问题:

  • What are you doing now? Why are you doing it?
  • 你现在在做什么? 你为什么要这么做?
  • What do you need to achieve so that your time isn’t wasted?
  • 为了不浪费时间,你需要做什么?
  • What’s the most important thing I could be doing right now?
  • 我现在能做的最重要的事是什么?
  • Is this distraction urgent? Do I need to divert attention right now?
  • 这是急事吗? 我现在需要转移注意力吗?
  • Do I need to care about it? Why?
  • 我需要在乎吗,为什么?
  • Will I regret spending time on this later?
  • 我以后会后悔花时间在这上面吗?
Step 3: Make a Decision
第三步: 做出决定

To put away a distraction for good, you have to process it. That means you have to make a decision about it so that your mind can be at peace about it.

为了永远摆脱干扰,你必须处理好它。这意味着你必须对此做出决定,这样你的头脑才能平静下来。

If you don’t and just ignore it, it will just resurface and bother you again until you do.

如果你不这样做,只是忽略它,它会重新浮出水面,再次困扰你,直到你这样做。

Final Words

Learning to improve your focus is how you break free from the never-ending cycle of feeling busy and overwhelmed all the time. You’re not always going to be able to be 100% focused, but learning how to focus with the above strategies will help you meet your goals and enable you to conquer any task.

学会提高你的注意力就是你如何从一直感到忙碌和不知所措的无休止的循环中解脱出来。你不可能总是能够100% 集中精力,但是学习如何用上述策略集中精力将帮助你实现你的目标,使你能够征服任何任务。

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