How to do visual Focus before work to perceive less effort


To use visual focus effectively before starting work to reduce perceived effort, Dr. Andrew Huberman recommends the practice of focusing your visual attention either by narrowing or broadening it. When you narrow your visual attention onto a specific spot and maintain this focus, neurochemicals are released in your brain that increase alertness and arousal. This is useful when you feel a lack of motivation or need a boost in concentration.

Here's how you can practice this:

  1. Choose a Visual Target: Pick a specific spot related to your workspace (e.g., a point on a piece of paper if you're doing desk work).
  2. Set a Timer: Initially aim for 30 seconds of focused attention, gradually increasing to 60 or even 90 seconds.
  3. Practice Regularly: This isn't a one-time effort but something that should be practiced regularly to enhance your visual attention skills.

This controlled focus acts as a gateway to enhanced cognitive focus, making the subsequent work seem less daunting and requiring less mental effort 1.

Additionally, Dr. Huberman discusses using overt and covert visual attention:

  • Overt Attention: Directly focus your eyes on a particular location and maintain this for a set time. Start with 30 seconds and gradually increase.
  • Covert Attention: Keep your eyes on one location but shift your mental focus elsewhere, which is more challenging and helps train focus over longer periods.

Incorporating these practices at the start of your work session can ramp up neural activity linked to focus and concentration, preparing you for more efficient and less mentally taxing work periods 2.

Enhancing Visual Attention

Andrew explains how we can actively narrow or broaden our visual attention, which can have a significant impact on our level of alertness and focus. By focusing on a specific visual target for a period of time, we can release neurochemicals that increase our overall level of arousal and cognitive focus.

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