Every wondered why you can't think straight these days? I doubt it's really ADD, hormones, or simple distractedness. Through doing a podcast read-a-long I realized I had some form of induced ADD. I couldn't go more than five minutes without checking my smartphone for texts or social media notifications. I needed the constant stimulation and instant gratification.
How exactly did podcasting show me this fact?
For the read-a-long I had to prepare lengthy notes from 1-3 chapters per episode. I would often end up with 12 to 13 typed single spaced pages. This translated into 60-80 minutes of completed post production podcast. When I began the 26-episode series, I was only able to focus for FIVE minutes at a time. Yes, FIVE minutes only without reaching for my phone to check something or other. I needed to fidget and move around. I couldn't be still or concentrate comfortably.
I was stunned at how much my abilities had diminished without my even knowing it. I dare ask, can you sit through a meal without looking at your smartphone? Can you have a conversation and keep attention on the other person?
Slowly but surely through the weekly podcast preparation process, I began to lengthen out my focus and concentration. I found a steady groove with 45 minutes of work and 15 minutes free every hour. I can work longer now, but I like the 45/15 rule so I remember get up and move, eat, or even use the bathroom.
So, what did this increased ability prepare me for? Going back to school.
This past January, I began courses to finish my Bachelor's at an online university. It's a 5-week streamlined class format. Many assignments are due each week because of the truncated schedule. I could NEVER have been successful thus far without being able to work steadily and consciously. I believe I would be struggling without the regained abilities brought back through podcasting.
Have you tried to sit and focus yet? I urge you to time it. Let me know how you did.
Okay enough rambling. I hope you enjoy the podcast.