Posts Tagged ‘focus’

To be productive you need long periods of uninterrupted concentration

August 10, 2019

My full-time writing schedule means that I have to be pretty much a hermit. The only way to gain enough efficiency to complete The Art of Computer Programming is to operate in batch mode, concentrating intensively and uninterruptedly on one subject at a time, rather than swapping a number of topics in and out of my head.

  • Donald Knuth, computer scientist

To do real good physics, you do need absolute solid lengths of time … it needs a lot of concentration.

  • Richard Feynman, physicist

Within a semester dedicated to research, he alternates between periods where his door is open to students and colleagues, and periods where he isolates himself to focus completely and without distraction on a single research task. During these periods, which can last up to three or four days, he’ll often put an out-of-office auto-responder on his email so correspondents will know not to expect a response soon. To Grant, it’s important to enforce strict isolation until he completes the task at hand.

  • Adam Grant, youngest professor to be awarded tenure at the Wharton School of Business

Writing novels is hard, and requires vast, unbroken slabs of time. Four quiet hours is a resource that I can put to good use. Two slabs of time, each two hours long, might add up to the same four hours, but are not nearly as productive as an unbroken four. If I know that I am going to be interrupted, I can’t concentrate, and if I suspect that I might be interrupted, I can’t do anything at all. Likewise, several consecutive days with four-hour time-slabs in them give me a stretch of time in which I can write a decent book chapter, but the same number of hours spread out across a few weeks, with interruptions in between them, are nearly useless.

  • Neal Stephenson, writer

The knowledge that I am going to die brings focus and urgency to my life

January 28, 2018

It is the knowledge that I am going to die that creates the focus that I bring to being alive. The urgency of accomplishment, the need to express love – now, not later.

If we live forever, why ever get out of bed in the morning, because you always have tomorrow? That’s not the kind of life that I want to lead.

Larry King: Don’t you fear not being around?

Neil de Grasse Tyson: I fear living a life where I could have accomplished something and I didn’t. That’s what I fear. I don’t fear death. I want this written on my tombstone: Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. [Horace Mann]

— Neil de Grasse Tyson (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ndj5KjKyr3E) starting at 3 minutes, 20 seconds into the video

How I overcame brain fog

July 21, 2012

13 months ago I started having brain fog.

It was a great effort to think. Seeing the light on a subject required penetrating a heavy fog in my brain.

I thought perhaps it was due to poor and insufficient sleep. So I got more and better sleep. No help. I sought help from my primary care physician. No help.

Finally, a month ago I decided to try essential oils. I went to the vitamin shop and purchased flaxseed oil, omega 3 oil, and safflower oil.

In one day my brain fog was gone!

It was amazing.

That was a month ago and still no brain fog. I take the oils every day now.

Here’s what I take. I am a big fan of the Solgar brand, so all that I mention are Solgar. (I have no affiliation with Solgar)

– Flaxseed Oil — 1250 mg
– Omega 3 — 700 mg
– Safflower oil — 3 capsules