Attention is difficult

Why can't we concentrate? is an excellent book review about Rapt on Salon:

"Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy," he wrote. "Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I'm always dragging my wayward brain back to the text." For my own part, I now find it challenging to sit still on my sofa through the length of a feature film. The urge to, for example, jump up and check the IMDB filmography of a supporting actor is well-nigh irresistible, and once I'm at the computer, why not check e-mail? Most of the time, I'll wind up pausing the DVD player before the end of the movie and telling myself I'll watch the rest tomorrow.

Exactly the same symptoms I'm having. This is the reason I've written some of my best code while offline at the countryside or on a road trip, and why it was so relaxing to be without a phone for a week recently.

How to solve the issue of constant distractions? Maybe we'll need to be sometimes offline. And even while connected, we need attention profiling and better user interfaces. Something for the developers of the future free desktop to consider.

Confession: I must've switched browser tabs a dozen time while reading the Salon article. Concentration indeed...

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