How to Improve Focus with the help of Neuroscience

How to Improve Focus with the help of Neuroscience

Published By: Usha Venkatesh
Published On: 25 Jul 2023 01:37:25 AM

How to Improve Focus with the help of Neuroscience

Do you see yourself getting distracted?

Do you find yourself spending too much screen time?

Are you struggling to Focus on your tasks?

Do you find most of your tasks unfinished by EOD, to be postponed to another day?

Do you feel rushed up all the time?

Do you feel low on energy and de-motivated?

What is happening here?

There is so much distraction today in the world by means of social media that if you allow yourself  a weak moment to follow that ping on the phone -  checking your Instagram or Facebook or a text message and  before you realize the day has gone by  as one distraction leads to another.  In the midst of some serious work, we find that our mind has wandered off to irrelevant thoughts.

What is happening here?  Why is it so difficult to focus? Why is it so easy to get distracted by a ping on the phone that makes us lose our track of thought?  With a little bit of understanding as to how our brains functions, we can understand the root cause for distractions.  Dr. Irene Brian, a neuroscientist, has explained in her work that studied “FOCUS” that while there are several networks for brain functioning, the three main networks that are important are the Default Mode Network (DMN), the Central Executive Network (CEN), and the Salience Network (SN).

When we work we are in the Central Executive Network (CEN) mode that is in deliberate thought process. When at rest, the brain goes into a Default Mode Network (DMN), responsible for inner chatter and constant stream of thoughts.  The Salience Network mode (SN) function is to choose the CEN or the DBN mode, based on how it perceives priorities.  The SN helps to prioritize and choose between CEN & DBN mode.  At any point in time, the brain can be in either the CEN or DMN mode but not both simultaneously. When we deliberately pause and silence our mind, we bring the brain to an SN mode. When we do meditation, the brain is in SN mode. The good thing about SN mode is we can bring that about by living mindfully and doing Mindful exercises to improve our Focus.

By being conscious of our brain functioning, by doing mindful exercises, we can bring greater control over our minds and improve our focus. This in turn would improve our functioning by reducing distractions and restless chatter.

About the Author

Usha Venkatesh has worn multiple hats with ease and success. She has been an entrepreneur, a corporate talent advisor, a finance professional, an investor and a consultant for a start-up in wellness space. ‘Talent Board’, a boutique search firm founded by her, specialized in hiring at CXO and leadership level with marquee clients like McKinsey, Honeywell etc. She is personally invested in the cause of diversity & inclusion and has conducted several corporate sessions as an expert. She is also collaborating with other practitioners to create a platform for design and execution bespoke services in the HR domain.

 She is currently on the path to acquire her certification from ICF.

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