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Just do it! How to save your mind from degradation and study effectively at home?

Published in the Random EN group
The topic of today's article will touch the hearts of many. We will talk about a problem that can come to every home. About a terrible disease that spares no one and equally affects the poor and rich, old and young, women and men. This disease is easy to catch, but it is almost impossible to completely get rid of it. Until recently, this disease was considered incurable, but today the best JavaRush scientists will give all patients hope for salvation. Just do it!  How to save your mind from degradation and study effectively at home?  - 1You probably already guessed what disease we are talking about. That's right, it's procrastination. Today, when millions of people around the world are trying to stay at home, few people pay attention to the new wave of procrastination epidemic, the consequences of which many will face in the form of projects not ready for deadlines, lack of progress in studies and tasks constantly being postponed until tomorrow. Previously, we have already published a selection of good services for combating procrastination and planning training (we recommend reading this material if you missed it), and today we’ll talk about how to learn to overcome procrastination in order to be more effective in work and study. Just do it!  How to save your mind from degradation and study effectively at home?  - 2

Procrastination and the ability to focus

If you regularly have trouble getting yourself to sit down to work or study and then do it without stopping for long enough, you are not alone. The fact is that in the modern world, the ability to concentrate on a task and solve it without being distracted by anything else is simply becoming a superpower that is becoming less and less common. In 2013, Microsoft Canada conducted a study to measure how much attention span the average person actually has. The results of the study were somewhat shocking. Scientists have determined the average time during which people manage to fully concentrate on any task without being distracted by anything else. It turned out that in recent years this figure for humanity on average has decreased very significantly - from 12 to 8 seconds. Just do it!  How to save your mind from degradation and study effectively at home?  - 3According to the study, if back in 2000 the average attention span for people was 12 seconds, then in 2013 it decreased to 8 seconds. If this discovery didn't seem all that alarming to you, it's worth adding that, according to research, aquarium goldfish have an average attention span of about 9 seconds. That is, the average person’s level of proficiency in this skill is slightly inferior to that of an aquarium fish. Why is our ability to concentrate on anything declining at such an alarming rate? That's right: the reason for this is your Internet, smartphones, applications for them and social networks, and they are already being helped by wearable gadgets, Internet of Things devices and other newfangled inventions that will aggressively compete for our attention, taking it away from really important tasks and preventing us from being productive. Just do it!  How to save your mind from degradation and study effectively at home?  - 4

Ability to focus

If you can focus effectively, you can get the results you want faster. It is a fact. And if you think that problems with the ability to concentrate for a long time are not for you, then think again: there is a high probability that you are procrastinating right now while reading this article. But don't be upset. With JavaRush you can benefit from even procrastination. The main thing is to read the article to the end and try to apply this information in real life.

What keeps you from focusing?

Humans have two types of focus: diffuse attention and directed attention. Divided attention is used when we are doing (or trying to do) multiple things at once, such as cooking, talking on the phone, and watching YouTube. Naturally, in this case, the brain has to distribute energy between each type of activity, as a result of which we quickly get tired, and the result of our activity is often not the most impressive. Moreover, absent-minded attention is activated not only when a person consciously tries to use multitasking, but also in cases when something distracts him from the primary task. Directed attention, on the other hand, is when you are completely focused on one task, ignoring everything else. It is what brings results in the form of a job well done or constant progress in learning something. And this is what you need to strive for in order to be successful, including in learning programming. Just do it!  How to save your mind from degradation and study effectively at home?  - 5

How to Improve Your Focus Effectively

Fortunately, as mentioned at the beginning, the tendency to procrastinate is not a death sentence, but the ability to manage your focus and concentrate on the truly important tasks can be learned. Let's talk about how to do this.
  • Remove things that interfere with your concentration.

    The easiest way to help yourself concentrate on work, school, or whatever else you need to do instead of all the other things that actually take up your time is to eliminate the irritants that prevent you from doing this.

    Who is the main villain who takes up our time and prevents us from doing important things? That's right, it's a phone. Therefore, while working, it makes sense not only to put it on silent mode, turn off vibration, etc., but also to put your mobile device away so as not to succumb to the temptation to check new messages or reply to someone in the messenger.

  • Health and physiology.

    It may come as a surprise to some, but your physical condition also has a significant impact on your ability to focus. To perform truly effectively, at least over the long haul, you need your body to be in optimal operating condition. How to achieve this? Here, alas, there will be no secret revelations or breakthrough discoveries of scientists: you need to get enough sleep (7-9 hours a day are considered the norm), eat right (vegetables, fruits, and that’s all) and do physical exercise (at least short walks and light gymnastics ).

  • The ability to concentrate is a skill ...

    Also, do not forget that the ability to focus attention is a skill like any other, which means it can be “pumped up.” How to do it? Regular practice and nothing more. Start small and strive to continually improve your results.

  • ...But it's also a habit.

    Эффективную работу и обучение можно сделать привычкой. Для этого достаточно, опять же, регулярно практиковаться. Если заставить себя заниматься самообучением пусть недолго, но каждый день, то со временем это войдет в привычку и необходимость прибегать к силе воли, чтобы сесть заниматься, исчезнет. Считается, что на формирование любой привычки, в среднем, уходит около 2-х месяцев — всего за 2 месяца сознательных усorй можно сформировать у себя привычку, которая будет приносить вам пользу до конца жизни.

  • Правильный и регулярный отдых.

    Как известно, продолжительная фокусировка внимания — это весьма энергозатратный процесс, поэтому делать перерывы между работой и давать себе отдохнуть также важно. Но нужно делать это правильно: не стоит в перерыве переключаться на другие раздражители вроде телефона or развлекательного контента в Сети, ведь их потребление продолжает отнимать у вас ценную энергию. Лучше обратиться к может и не самым увлекательным, но эффективным способам восстановить ментальную энергию — медитации, прогулки, несложные физические упражнения помогают лучше всего.

What мешает вам эффективно учиться? Дофамин

Why is it that most of us don’t have any particular difficulty surfing the Internet, chatting on social networks or watching YouTube for several hours at a time, while concentrating on studying for half an hour or a couple of hours working on our business idea already seems difficult task? Obviously, you say, the first type of activity requires much less dedication and energy. But why then do some individuals not experience any particular problems in working and achieving their goals, while for others the process does not go beyond plans and laudable intentions to do something? It's all because of dopamine, a neurotransmitter produced in the brain. Dopamine is one of the chemical factors of internal reinforcement (IRF) and serves as an important part of the “reward system” of the brain, since it causes a feeling of pleasure (or satisfaction), which affects the processes of motivation and learning. It is the level of dopamine that determines how strong your motivation is to learn programming or launch your own startup , for example. Our brain prioritizes one activity or another depending on how much dopamine it receives as a result. Accordingly, the more dopamine is released as a result of a particular activity, the more our brain strives to repeat it. This is why, on a subconscious level, we are willing to spend hours on social networks or play video games: these types of activities lead to the rapid release of dopamine, while work or study do not provide immediate reward and therefore have less impact on the production of this important neurotransmitter. The life of a modern person is filled with stimulants that cause rapid production of dopamine: all Internet services, from news portals to dating applications, and media resources function in such a way as to use our system of chemical factors of internal reinforcement as strongly as possible. Just do it!  How to save your mind from degradation and study effectively at home?  - 6

Dopamine detox

The release of dopamine in one way or another reinforces any of our activities that the brain perceives as useful, including satisfying basic needs for food and drink, sleep and, of course, sex. This is where the concept of addiction comes into play. With an increase in the level of dopamine released by the brain, the mechanisms responsible for adaptation are activated, and the body begins to perceive the new level as normal. This is how addiction is formed - subconsciously we strive to spend energy and time on those activities that provide the most dopamine, and work or study are outside our list of priorities, since the reward for this activity does not come immediately.

Where can I find motivation to work on myself, self-development and study new areas of knowledge?

A dopamine detox or dopamine diet is a way to significantly increase your productivity and become more effective, which is not yet very well known on the Runet, but is actively gaining popularity in the English-speaking segment of the Internet. The point is quite simple: we consciously limit ourselves in activities that lead to increased dopamine release for a limited period of time. For example, once a week we completely give up any entertainment activities for the entire day, including using social networks or watching the latest news, and on other days we allocate only a certain limited period of time (an hour or two a day) to them. This “diet” helps to get out of the vicious circle of dependence on activities that lead to the release of increased levels of dopamine. Using this simple method, you can lower the level of dopamine, which is normal for the body, and increase motivation to perform tasks that previously seemed boring and therefore difficult, constantly losing the battle for priority to useless entertainment.


Well, if you've made it to the end of this article, you have reason to be modestly optimistic—your attention span is likely better than most people's. We hope that the tips and techniques from this article will help you overcome procrastination and take your productivity to the next level. If you know of other effective ways to combat procrastination and improve your ability to concentrate, write in the comments.