How does Zeigarnik effect impact Your focus
How does Zeigarnik effect impact Your focus. What is Zeigarnik effect anyway?
First things first. Zeigarnik effect is a psychological tendency for people to remember uncompleted tasks better than completed.
Where can I see Zeigarnik effect?
Let me introduce example situation.
I am sitting in a restaurant with group of 10 friends.
Waiter comes to ask us what we have chosen. After ordering multiple courses,
me and my friends remain impressed how remember all orders without noting anything down.
Once waiter brings us food, we notice that he not only remembers what to bring, but also who ordered what.
After meal we pay the bill and leave the restaurant.
After couple of minutes of hesitation I have decided to return and ask waiter what is his secret of great memory.
I approach him and say I ate here couple of minutes ago and remained impressed.
Based on confused look, it seems he doesn’t recognize me anymore.
You and your friends have paid the bill and waiter has completed his task in serving you, thus he has no need to remember returning guest any longer.
How does Zeigarnik effect impact you?
When humans start working or thinking of task, we create tension which keeps started tasks in memory.
Subconscious mind then reminds conscious mind of what needs to be finalized.
Even if task has been started only mentally, reminders keep nagging and interrupting us.
Zeigarnik effect is helping us not to forget what has been started.
Study proofs that students who are interrupted during their study time with unrelated activity remember material better than students who don’t take such break.
Open office area is really good for remembering what we were doing before someone interrupted us.
But concentration and focus in open office is something we might want to improve.
Free conscious mind and improve productivity
The solution is really simple.
Just have a to do list where you write down task or nagging idea.
This is where mind becomes peaceful and can focus better, since you noted down task, that is all it takes for brain to consider nagging completed.
Of course you need to review your notes later.
Once you ensure own bran that you will come back, tension will disappear.
Brain considers task finished just because you noted it down.
You will be able to fully focus on task at hand.
Why bother to write tasks down & Zeigarnik effect focus impact
Many people keep ” mental to do list “.
Average person has around 150 to-do items on their list (mental or paper.
After you implement trusted system (make sure that you will return to reread the list) where you can note down tasks, you will help your mind concentrate and focus easier.
Why keep in mind plenty of items which we don’t plan to focus on right now?
Find a productivity system that you will be using and help your brainpower concentrate on what is important at the moment.
You don’t need to buy any fancy notepad or better and newer productivity GTD software. Simple sheet of paper can do the job perfectly.
Just make sure to return to it on daily basis and check not crossed items on your task list.
P.S: If concentration and focus are challengin for you, make sure you get enough of movement.