How to Break Through Your Constant Lack Of Focus

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The “Carrot” And The “Stick”

About a week ago, I wrote the article “Why It is Impossible For You To Focus”, which sought to address the benign issue of our inability to focus, even for a short period of time.

The “Stick”

The “Stick” approach, as the name suggests, is a painful but nonetheless necessary process designed to distance yourself from the toxic source which causes your lack of focus.

The approach is simple:

Restrict access to ALL activities that distract you

Why this is important:

It is extremely difficult to engage in long periods of focus, if you have easy access to an array of activities that provides your brain with a high level of dopamine stimulation.

This is why you need to restrict yourself to distracting, dopamine releasing activities.

Implementing the “Stick”

Reducing social media consumption could mean the following (my methods get more drastic with each bullet):

  • Store your social media apps deep within your phone (in a folder of folders of folders… you get the picture)
  • Log out of social media every time you use it
  • Delete your apps altogether
  • Delete your account altogether
  • Delete your games on your PC
  • Keep your PlayStation / Xbox every time after each play
  • Sell your PlayStation / Xbox

The “Carrot”

With your list of dopamine-releasing activities out of the way, the next approach seeks to leverage on your brain’s response to dopamine to encourage productive behaviors.

The “Winner Effect” — Challenge and achievement loop reinforced by dopamine
  • Walk through a portion of calculus related to machine learning
  • Code through a Python lesson module that I’ve purchased from Udemy
  • Watch an application of Machine Learning on YouTube

Conclusion

My two-pronged approach is intentionally designed to be simple and straightforward. It is in no way a new or novel approach.

Useful Sources and Information:

  • The Future of Creativity and Innovation is Gamification: Gabe Zichermann at TEDxVilnius
  • “Dopamine and Addiction: Separating Myths and Facts”: Healthline
  • The Winner Effect: The Neuroscience of Success and Failure, by Ian H. Robertson

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