Focus is a challenge these days. It used to be that information was a scarce resource. But nowadays we have a whole world of information available at the click of a button on the screen of our phones. The abundance of information that is the norm now has lots of advantages, but it does come with drawbacks too. One of the most significant of those drawbacks is the negative impact all this information has on our focus and attention span.
And the rate at which technology is evolving, the number of things that demand our attention is only going to increase, which means the average attention span will decrease, not increase.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are things that we can do to improve our focus. In fact, according to the latest research by the Center for Advanced Research in Education at the University of Chile, there is one activity that has been shown to have a significant positive impact on our ability to focus.
It is learning to play a musical instrument.
Focus in musicians vs non-musicians
The research compared two groups and their ability to control attention. One group consisted of eighteen musicians (pianists), the other group consisted of eighteen non-musicians.
Their tests found that the musicians were more effective at filtering out irrelevant information. Not only that, but they were also able to focus more quickly on things, even when distracted.
Focus is important
It is quite clear from the study that the musicians were a lot better at focus than the non-musicians. And the findings can be used in schools to help children learn how to focus better, and also help with health conditions like ADHD where one’s ability to focus is a major challenge.
But not just that, it also points to something all of us can do to improve our ability to focus, something that not only positively impacts our ability to learn and do things in our daily lives but also improves our productivity levels which have a direct impact on our work and careers and even on our happiness levels.
That’s a lot of benefits!
If you have ever considered learning a musical instrument, here are yet more reasons to do so.
Focus is in short supply these days – there are distractions everywhere, and there are numerous demands on our attention and focus in this day and age of technology.
Improving your focus is a great thing, and has a whole host of benefits, so it can be a great idea to look into picking up a musical instrument. Not only will you create music and learn something new, but it can also improve your life.
Each of those is a good enough reason to do this won’t you say.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you play any musical instrument? If you do, have you noticed any impact on your ability to deal with distractions and focus on things?
Share your thoughts and tips in the comments section below.
You can find out more about the study here.
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