It’s never too early to learn smart strategies to focus in on priorities and tune out what’s not immediately necessary.
Neuroscience has shown that multitasking — the process of doing more than one thing at the same time — doesn’t exist.
Multitasking is also stressful for the body. When people try to do several things at once, like drive and text, the brain uses up oxygenated glucose at a much faster rate and releases the stress hormone cortisol.
Rather than trying to do everything at the same time, the most productive people prioritize and block off their schedules to focus on one task at a time.
the basic principle of focusing in on one task at a time holds true for anyone.
“When they’re doing something, they’re really doing it,” Levitin said. “They get more done because their brain isn’t half somewhere else.”
“People who take regular breaks — and naps even — end up being more productive and more creative in their work,” Levitin said.
“You need to give your brain time to consolidate all the information that’s come in, to toss it and turn it.”
The brain has a natural way of giving itself a break — it’s called daydreaming. “It allows you to refresh and release all those neural circuits that get all bound up when you’re focused,”
“Children shouldn’t be overly scheduled,” Levitin said. “They should have blocks of time to promote spontaneity and creativity.”
Daydreaming and playing are crucial to develop the kind of creativity many say should be a focal point of a modern education system.
The world has changed much more quickly than the genome can keep up with, which means schools have a responsibility to help kids develop the skills to sift through the overwhelming stimuli.
It can be hard to focus on one thing when there’s a long, nagging list of things that need to get done in a day, both personal and professional. Levitin recommends writing all those things down on notecards, externalizing the memories into digestible bits that can be shuffled as priorities change. “My brain knows I’ve written it down and it stops nagging me,” Levitin said of his method.
he hyperactive child might be able to help develop a more creative set of ideas, while the more focused child knows how to take that idea
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