Bit of a change of pace; but I’m having a contemplative day and wanted to share something that I’m trying out.
Being a parent of two, I am well aware that I am not the world’s most sedate eater. You have a very limited window in which you can both get your kids to sit and eat, while getting enough sustenance yourself to survive the grueling bedtime gauntlet. Still, I came across some simple advice a few years back that really helped me as far as not eating too much too fast:
Put down your fork when you take a bite.
If your fork is on your plate, you’re not digging for the next bite, readying it to be shoveled in. You have to focus on what you’re eating. You also have time to listen to your body telling you that it’s full, lessening the times when you shove away from the table, goggling at what you just polished off, only to feel like Jabba the Hutt twenty minutes later.
So, yay for you, you say. Since when is this an etiquette/health blog?
Right you are. But I’ve been on a bit of an information overload lately and wanted to see if I could apply this principle to something more prevalent in my life, in an attempt to cut down on the number of infostreams assaulting my brain. So, my new philosophy?
Take your hands off the mouse when you read.
Especially when you’re blog-surfing, there are a myriad of links, buttons, mouse-overs, galleries, and tabs to open up and explore. Do it enough and you end up never really focusing on what you’re reading, because your cursor is already seeking out the next bit of info.
I tried it earlier today with a newly published article about the Gulf Spill. Taking my hands off the mouse, when I came across the name of the researcher, instead of right-clicking and doing a Google-search for her in another tab, I filed away that I wanted to look her up, finished the article, then came back to the name. It’s a small thing, but it forced me to focus on what was being said, rather than playing “how deep can you dive into this topic in the next 30 seconds?”
Like the fork thing, I see myself breaking this “rule” almost instantly. But it’s something to keep in mind. When we let our hands keep moving, there’s a part of our brain that’s focused there, not on processing what’s in front of our eyes. And while it may slow me down, I’m hoping it will lead to a deeper understanding of how I process information (not to mention a better comprehension of those topics I do slow down and check out thoroughly).