Random Bytes

All Things Internet™ since 1999

By

Think Again

I’m taking an online course and I’m learning quite a few things that aren’t contained in the syllabus.

Focus

  1. I find it hard to focus longer than 10-12 minutes at a stretch when I’m using the computer. I regularly catch myself reaching for for “alt-tab”. Alt-tab to what is an interesting question. I’ve conditioned myself to switch to another window – email, twitter, Facebook, whatever, on a regular basis just to check out what is going on, even if there aren’t any alerts telling me something is going on. I’m seeing some success closing all unnecessary applications. It seems that my lizard brain knows when there’s nothing to switch to and I’m not tempted to check as often. I can’t claim 100% success yet. Instead of continuing with the next lecture, I’m writing blog post instead. Sigh.
  2. I need to really work on my reading. At a young age I developed a bad habit of “speed reading” absolutely everything. Rather than reading a page word by word, I look at the page in its entirety and form a picture of what the page is trying to convey. If any of the concepts are unclear, I form a picture of what is going on in a specific area of the page surrounding the concept. This is great when I’m reading large volumes of text and really bad when I’m taking a quiz. I have a tendency to assume what something says and not fully confirming that this is exactly what the text says. While I’m perfectly capable of reading a paragraph word by word, I tend to default to speed-reading mode which leads to mistakes on quizzes because I’ve answered the wrong question.
  • https://ting.com/ Ben Lucier

    Uh oh. I think we’re both guilting of #2.

  • mustefa

    Same for both. For #1 I’m using an adapted Pomodoro technique. 25 minute tasks + 5 mins in between. Or 35 / 5 or 50 / 10. It’s arbitrary depending on what I’m comfortable with doing. Currently on a 10 min rest writing this comment!

    Speed reading is tough to break. When I run through my twitter feed ill speed read shared articles and RT based on perceived merit.