Week 9: Attention, how to get it

When working on something (like for example this blog post), I need to focus on the task at hand, as direct my attention towards it. Too often I find my thoughts drifting to something else, or a new message on my phone to steal my attention (Actually happened while writing this). This got me into thinking, how I could better control my focus and not be distracted. As attention shifting to other things was developed by evolution, allowing us to react to things that could be beneficial to us, kind of opportunities to increase our brains dopamine levels. Obvious way to have better focus is to reduce the attention thefts in your environment so you have no distractions. As the brain is a chemical system, substances like caffeine or in some medical condition cases Aderall or other amphetamine related drugs, that diminish the seek for other dopamine sources in your environment.

Knowledge about attention can also be used against us. This is well known by the marketing experts, whose first task is to grab the attention of the plausible buyer. Could there be something in the methods there we could use to have our attention on the things we want or need to be doing? However, it is easy to say that attention is easier to get than maintain.

Posted by Eero Prittinen

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