• Mauro Herrera

Brainwaves And Ai: China's Answer To Concentration & Tips To Increasing Your Concentration That Work

It's time for us to focus on concentration, (get it?). There are many “secrets” on how to stay focused or improve concentration, but most of them are wrong because they are simply based on misconceptions.

When I was in school I worried a lot about my grades and compared myself to the best students in the class (big mistake). I used to think that their better grades were due to them being better than me intellectually as if they had bigger brains. I thought that they could learn much faster and understand more complex things because they could concentrate on a deeper level. I resigned myself to thinking that they were just better and proceeded to play Call of Duty for hours during exam week. Why am I not a billionaire yet? I don’t get it!

There are many myths about concentration and people like my younger self believe them and base their lives around them. They believe that focusing means pressing your attention to something obsessively or that it is being able to concentrate on several things at the same time like those illusionists on the street. This is all wrong, but if you believed it, don't worry, it's not your fault.

China's Attempt To On Mastering Concentrate

A few weeks ago I saw this video which has partly the reason why I wrote this article - how far would we go, and what would we believe in order to be able to become laser-focused and ultimately more productive people.

Well, a growing number of classrooms in China are equipped with artificial-intelligence cameras and brain-wave trackers. While many parents and teachers see them as tools to improve grades, they’ve become some children’s worst nightmare. Check it out below:

And unlike China's attempt to focus children using proven methods, we have all, at one time or another tried these weird hacks or believed these myths that somehow turn us into Rainman. Well here are some myths about concentration that are completely false and, some ACTUAL tips that might get you just a little closer to your dream of becoming a human supercomputer.

Myth 1: Focus is something you are born with and you can't improve on it.

I have actually heard people talking about children who seem more distracted and say things like, “Oh, that's because their mom didn't eat enough iron during pregnancy” or “That's because they didn't put classical music next to the belly.” While music does stimulate the brain and can affect its performance, it does not affect our ability to concentrate before birth.

Nobody is born a musical genius, or in mathematics. All of this, like how to stay focused, can be trained and developed. So don't think that your difficulty concentrating is due to a manufacturing defect. You CAN improve and become a master of focus. Like Will Smith in that movie Focus? Not exactly, but at least you can watch the whole movie without being distracted.

Myth 2: You must work very hard to focus.

Here comes the first misconception about concentration:

It is not a gift or skill that only a few have.

Your brain concentrates all the time every day. When you have a chat with someone, when you read tweets, when you eat, you are focusing. It's not like unlocking 100% of the brain's capacity (which is also a myth, by the way). Nor is it something you can force, if it is taking you work to focus on a task, forcing yourself is not a way to achieve it.

Myth 3: Focus is something you can do consciously

This is partly a myth. Concentration is an instinctive ability, it is a survival mechanism.

While yes, you can make the effort to consciously focus on something specific, it is not something you can control 100%. It's like when you try not to focus on the blinking check engine light on your car but you just can't ignore it. In fact, it is made that way so that you subconsciously focus on it. So don't fall for “improve concentration” scams that tell you you have all the power in it.

Myth 4: You can focus on several things at the same time

The next time someone tells you they can “multitask” because they can listen to a podcast while making dinner, hit them with an encyclopedia and yell at them SCIENCE, B*TCH. Or maybe don't, just show them this article.

There are enough studies and experiments that show that it is impossible to focus on more than one thing at a time. What some people call multitasking is simply concentration management. Cheer up, that means you can do it too!

ACTUAL tips to improve concentration

Listen to music that does help you. This tip is not very revealing, but many people get it wrong. When they use music to get into the zone and focus, they tend to listen to songs from their favorite artists or the hits of the moment, this can only be a distraction. There are songs made for concentration, such as movie or video game soundtracks, made so as not to distract you from the plot.

Improve your sleep cycle. This is also known: if you do not sleep well, your brain does not work well, therefore you will have trouble concentrating. Make sure you are getting enough rest to do your best at work or school.

Organize your tasks for the day. Like I've said many times before, multitasking is just organization. Write down the things you need to do during the day and group those that you can do at the same time. You can answer emails while waiting for the food in the oven to be ready. Use alarms, clocks and timers so you don't forget about each task.


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