Short attention span

Usually I work in bursts. I do big crazy super productive bursts. Maybe because when I was at school I was lucky enough of being able to resolve every problem I had working hard in short period spans.

And that’s not a bad thing. Human attention usually can’t last longer than 45 minutes. That’s why working in bursts can make you super productive, but I’ve been making a wrong distribution of my working units (1 unit = 50 minutes of attention) all the time. Working units and burst working are not new, but nobody told my that the way I was distributing those working units was wrong nor important.

The distribution is as important as resting. Why ? Because of our memory. We have different types of memories and being able to make all of them work, it’s not an easy task and requires time.


 Types of Memories

So what was I doing so wrong? I was doing all the working units for a specific project in a row. And how bad can be that ? Really, really bad in my experience. Why ? Because usually you are not giving yourself enough time to make your Working-Memory store all those things into your Long-Term-Memory. WTF Brain ? I was working hard !!

And that sounds strange I know. If I store something in a DB, it should be just there (more or less consistently but there). But be careful, your brain is not a DB, you don’t have the permissions for writing in your Long-Term-Memory. You only have access to your cache (Working-Memory). And those things that stay around enough time in your cache eventually are stored in the DB. This looks like a super stupid analogy. But it’s true.

Every time someone tells me, I learned X just in a weekend, I feel sorry for them, because now I know that if they didn’t keep working on that, they know nothing about X.