Focus—there’s an app for that

For various reasons, focus can be difficult in a whole host of contexts—at work, at home, or during recreation. One contemporary culprit that can all too easily hamper efforts to “lose” oneself in the “play” of the real world are the digital devices and media with which some of us are constantly surrounded. As a helpful set of “training wheels” to foster better focus amid such distractions, enter Freedom.

 

For a quick overview of how to configure and begin using Freedom, see the clip below.

 

For additional discussion of the significance of focus and concentration, and (especially Internet-enabled) humans’ susceptibility to distraction, see Better attention than a goldfish, Eliminating distractions, Hyatt’s interview with Newport, Productivity assessment, Skills to cultivate for better work, Staying focused, Tips for better focus.

Humanities Commons

The MLA has started a new initiative, named the Humanities Commons. According to the Commons’s introductory webinar registration page,

Imagine a humanities network with the sharing power of Academia.edu, the archival quality of an institutional repository, and a commitment to using and contributing to open source software. Now imagine that this network is not-for-profit. It doesn’t want to sell your data or generate profit from your intellectual property. That’s Humanities Commons. Run by a nonprofit consortium of scholarly societies, Humanities Commons wants to help you curate your online presence, expand the reach of your scholarship—whatever form it may take—and connect with other scholars who share your interests.

For more information, view the webinar or peruse the Commons’s website.

HT: AWOL

Toward not multitasking on the Dropbox blog

The Dropbox blog has a short essay on the downsides of trying to multitask. Rather than multitasking,

deep and singular focus is just what the doctor ordered, but in our hyper-connected world, it isn’t always easy…. You could chuck all your gadgets and move to the woods, but luckily you don’t need to get that drastic. Experts say you can begin to retrain your brain and take advantage of deep focus by concentrating on one thing at a time, managing your use of technology, and reframing the “instant-response” expectations of your colleagues—and yourself.

For the rest of the post and a handful of practical suggestions about taking steps in this direction, see the original post on the Dropbox blog.