How to stay focused 如何專心致志地做事?

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保持專心致志有時很難。不過,要是知道讓自己分心的原因,就可能有助集中注意力。科學家研究了導致 「拖延症」 的原因,找出了一些幫助人們進入工作或學習狀態的方法。本期 「隨身英語」 節目圍繞這些建議展開討論。

詞彙:concentration 精神集中

When you were at school, were you ever told to stop daydreaming and concentrate? It was easy for your mind to wander if you weren’t interested in what you were learning or if you had better things to think about. Staying focused can still be a challenge in adult life, but understanding how to do it, and knowing what is distracting you, can help.

Scientists have looked at what makes us procrastinate and found a number of ways to help us stay in the zone. One of the most obvious things is eliminating noise. Research by Science Focus magazine found silence is best for concentration, or a gentle background hum and coffee shop noise is great! It also found turning off notifications on your phone, or switching it off altogether, removes a major distraction and helps us focus on the task at hand.

Another possible cure for a short attention span is brain training. Psychologists and neuroscientists are increasingly interested in our ability to knuckle down and have looked at what we can change inside our head to make us concentrate. An article for BBC Future by Caroline Williams says that 「Attention Researcher Nilli Lavie of University College London has found that making a task more visually demanding… takes up more processing power and leaves the brain nothing left to process distractions.」 So, keeping your mind busy might be the answer.

There are more practical tips to keeping your mind focused. These include making a list or timetable of the tasks you have to do, finding a workspace where you’re not tempted to do other things, or chewing some gum! It’s possible the movement in your mouth occupies parts of the brain that might otherwise get distracted.

But according to Science Focus magazine, distraction isn’t all bad. 「If we were always so focused that we never got distracted, we’d miss potential changes, such as threats, in our environment. Distraction is vital for survival.」

詞彙表

daydream 做白日夢
mind to wander 走神,心不在焉
focused 專注的
distract 干擾,使分心
procrastinate 拖延
in the zone 狀態極佳,在狀態
silence 安靜,無聲
task at hand 手頭的任務
short attention span 注意力持續時間短,注意力不集中
brain training 大腦訓練
neuroscientist 神經科學家
knuckle down 開始努力工作或學習
visually demanding 視覺上費力的,需要勞神看的
processing power 處理能力
threat 威脅

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What should you try to remove if you want to concentrate properly?

2. According to one expert, what uses up processing power in our brain?

3. What might we miss if we didn’t get distracted?

4. Why might finding a suitable workspace help you concentrate?

5. Who are particularly interested in our ability to stay focused?

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. I was _______ on the train and missed my stop!

focused                      distracting                   daydreaming             silence

2. My son has a _______ and can’t concentrate on his schoolwork.

short attention span                                        short attention spans

short attentive span                                        attention short span

3. You need to _______ if you want to get all your work completed on time.

procrastinate               task at hand                 knuckle down           daydream

4. There must be absolute _______ in the exam hall.

threats                         silence                         focused                   neuroscientists

5. In our yoga class, we were told to relax and allow our _______

wander our mind                                             wandering mind

mind to wandering                                          mind to wander

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What should you try to remove if you want to concentrate properly?
One of the most obvious things is eliminating noise.

2. According to one expert, what uses up processing power in our brain?
Attention Researcher Nilli Lavie of University College London has found that making a task more visually demanding takes up more processing power.

3. What might we miss if we didn’t get distracted?
According to Science Focus magazine, if we were always so focused that we never got distracted, we’d miss potential changes, such as threats, in our environment.

4. Why might finding a suitable workspace help you concentrate?
Finding a workspace means you’re not tempted to do other things.

5. Who are particularly interested in our ability to stay focused?
Psychologists and neuroscientists are increasingly interested in our ability to try and focus and concentrate.

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. I was daydreaming on the train and missed my stop!

2. My son has a short attention span and can’t concentrate on his schoolwork.

3. You need to knuckle down if you want to get all your work completed on time.

4. There must be absolute silence in the exam hall.

5. In our yoga class, we were told to relax and allow our mind to wander.