The new currency: Concentration

Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.
— Alexander Graham Bell

If 'time is money', then it must at least be a certain type of time - e.g. time spent working to create value. But if it takes one person two hours to complete a valuable task and another person only one hour, then the second person is obviously more valuable (all other things being equal). The reality is that these days all other things are often equal: we have access to the same technologies, resources and all the same information online.

'There might be a difference in skill sets' I hear your say. True and I agree. However, how do we learn and acquire skills? Deliberate and concerted practice is the answer. Again the same principle (as above) is true: the person who can concentrate better will be more successful because they can learn more quickly and therefore implement the knowledge more efficiently. 

Why is this conversation relevant for all of us? We are living in a noisy, impatient and distracting time. We are bombarded with information/entertainment (i.e. infotainment) on a minute by minute basis and everyone is competing for our attention. It's a very exciting time but it is destroying our concentration one piece at a time. Our brains are 'plastic' (i.e. adaptable to change), which can be either good or bad. We can actively develop our concentration levels or we can actively harm them; there's nothing that says we will always develop them in positive ways.

Concentration is the root of all the higher abilities of man
— Bruce Lee

Here's my suggestion: we make a proactive effort to measure and record our hours of concentration day by day. In order to do this, I've created a very simple 'concentration calendar' spreadsheet that you can download and use to track your progress.


References

  • Doidge, N. (2007) The brain that changes itself: Stories of personal triumph from the frontiers of brain science. New York: Penguin Group USA.
  • Doidge, N. (2015) The brain’s way of healing: Remarkable discoveries and recoveries from the frontiers of Neuroplasticity. United States: Penguin Audiobooks.