Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


How to Concentrate

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:13 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Lately, I’ve been very concerned with my own discipline and how that relates to creative output.

It seems to me that I have increasingly lost the ability to focus on creative tasks for long periods of time, which, of course, is somewhat detrimental to actually producing a finished product. In short, my skills of concentration have gotten soft. It may be due, in part, to the nature of my work, which often draws me in several directions at once. Or, it may simply be a part of my nature that I used to have under better control. Regardless, concentration is, I think, the key.

So, with that in mind, I invite you to read “How To Concentrate“, originally published in 1930, but still relevant today.  Certainly, it is for me, especially this week, or month, or, hell, this year.  Now, all I need to do is clear a little space on my calendar…

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"'One of these days' is none of these days."
   --English Proverb


  1. I find being a IT person having learned to skim log files very quickly and trouble shoot in a certain way is good for solving problems for IT, however solving real world problems around the home and making decisions about family matters is not helped by this learned method of thinking.

    For example I cant find lost items laying in front of me in my house. Or listen very well in a conversation and remember all the details very well. I keep thinking and paying attention to find red flags in the stream of informatino as the conversation progresses, and have trouble being able to finish listening and then think about what the person just said and what it means. I expect a stream of data to have an obviouse place to pause and know what to change and reiterate in order to continue trouble shooting. Like tailing a log file etc ,etc ,etc ,etc.

    This has been crazy…

    Comment by im822 — 12/3/2008 @ 2:59 pm

  2. I sympathize. I’ve started to reply to your comment several times, only to be interrupted by something. One of the reasons I canceled cable was because I felt it was impacting my ability to focus on something in a negative way. I would jump between two or more channels, never really watching anything on any channel in its entirety. Frustrating!

    And, yes, finding a way to make that an asset in our line of work is good, but not always a great life skill in other areas!

    Comment by the Network Geek — 12/4/2008 @ 10:58 am

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