“There is no such thing as stability. You are either green and growing or ripe and rotting.”
This adage is relevant today more than ever. Businesses who bask on their former glory without innovation will soon rot as competition catches up on them.
The same way as a freelancer. If we don't upgrade our skills and learn new trades, we might be out of the market sooner than we think. Therefore, we should seek to find new knowledge applicable to our craft. But why is it so hard to study again? I mean. Back when we were students, we have no choice. But now, it's hard to learn new concepts.
And if we give time for it, why can't we understand it fully as fast as before. If you are having the same dilemma, utilizing the Focused Mode and the Diffused Mode of learning might be essential.
Image Credit: Pexels
Focused Mode vs. Diffused Mode
Basically, these are two modes where we gain knowledge. Watch this video for an introduction to it:
The Focused mode is quite self-explanatory. It's when we deliberately focus and intensely concentrate to understand and solve a problem. Predominantly, we use our prefrontal cortex to zoom-in our attention to the task at hand.
As for the Diffused Mode, it's when we are in a state of thinking not connected to anything in particular. It's like your using the subconscious to derive conclusions and understand data. You're just letting it work on its own while doing non-metally tasking activities like exercising or sleeping.
Think of it as a flashlight. Focus mode is when you set it to beam a straight focused line to highlight a certain object. And diffused light is the more widely diffused light setting where you focus on nothing in particular. The light is just illuminating what it can at the moment.
Many people are divided as to what is best to use. But I tell you, you need both to learn effectively.
Ever had that moment when you were so focused on something and you can't seem to get the answer? Even if you continue moving forward, it just seems to get hazier from then on?
This is the limitation of the focused mode. Sometimes, zooming into focus is not what you need. Our conscious brain can only take so much. Moving forward with only the focus mode in understanding that hard concept is a waste of time.
Switch to Diffused Mode After
Now go back to your learning moments. After intensely focusing on the concepts, you decided to take a break. You exercised or maybe just plainly rest. And suddenly, there was this eureka moment. For some reason, you just got it! You got the answer from your questions.
Has this ever occurred to you? This has happened to me multiple times. I was working on a problem I can't understand all night. And after a good night's rest, I suddenly get it!
This is the diffused mode working on the background. Your subconscious processed all the information from your intense focused mode and provided you with an answer or another angle to attack the problem.
Pretty useful, right?
Image Credit: Freepik
How to Use These Modes?
Remember, you can't use the focused mode and diffused mode at the same time.
To effectively switch back and forth, push yourself to the limits of your focused mode. We all have our limits. If you want to this strategically, you can also use a Pomodoro timer.
Work towards understanding the new skill up to the point where you gave it everything you’ve got. Afterward, diffuse. Play a non-mentally stimulating game. Walk around the park. Sleep.
You might just be surprised at what insights you can get.
With constantly using this switch between modes, you are sure to learn more things to stay relevant in the freelancing marketplace. Good luck!
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