©Alamy via BBC
- Do you consider yourself focused on your tasks during this time of the pandemic? Why or why not?
- Do you prefer working/taking lessons at home or in the office/school? Why?
- hack /hak/
- theory /THEE-uh-ree/
- hassle /HAS-uhl/
- discipline /DIS-uh-plin/
- uncertain /uhn-SUR-tn/
[verb] – to manage to deal successfully with something
Is there any way to successfully hack stressful situations?
[noun] – a formal statement of the rules or principles on which an activity or a subject of study is based
Recent research seems to support this theory about improving one’s lifestyle.
[noun] – a situation that causes difficulty or trouble, or an argument
It’s a hassle to move to another house, but we have no choice.
[noun] – the ability to make yourself do something, even if it is difficult, so that you can achieve a goal
Nina is doing her best to discipline herself to writing every day.
[adjective] – not known or fixed, or not completely certain
The teacher said the exam results are still uncertain, so let’s wait for a bit.
Australian psychologist John Sweller has a psychological theory for this called the “Cognitive Load Theory” (CLT). This theory explains how our minds work as our “working memory” that has a limited capacity and duration to absorb or store information. When we are presented with a problem that’s either new or unfamiliar to us, we find it difficult to do things automatically because it’s not part of our routine.
For example, when we attend meetings in a normal set-up, we simply present ourselves as well as a journal or laptop to take down notes. Nowadays, however, most of us work remotely, so attending meetings is a hassle in itself: making sure the internet connection is stable, our environment is pleasant, and even the software where we have the video conference. Background noises both in and out of houses also cause distractions. So what do we need to do to stay focused?
First, planning. Create a new routine applicable for working at home and master it. Also, be more mindful of your stress level and avoid overloading your working memory. Second, self-discipline. Start organizing your working environment. Work in an area where you feel comfortable away from distractions. For example, turn off your TV while working, or have a dedicated schedule for your professional and personal life.
We’re still uncertain when the pandemic will end, but one thing’s for sure: it will still continue for months. In order for us to regain our focus during the pandemic, we need to have a new lifestyle when this kind of emergency happens again worldwide.
- What is the Cognitive Load Theory?
- What are the two steps to stay focused according to the article?
- What do we need to do nowadays during remote meeting sessions?
- What did Sophie Vershbow tweet about during the first few months of the pandemic?
- Based on the theory, what happens when we are presented with a problem unfamiliar to us?
- When you are faced with a new problem, what do you do to solve it?
- Aside from planning and discipline, what else do you think are ways to stay focused?
- Do you already have a planned routine for working/studying at home? If so, kindly share. If no, what are your plans?
- What distracts you from doing work/studying at home?
- What do you do when you are beginning to lose focus on your work or studies?