Increase Your Productivity by Mastering Singular Focus and Mindful Meditation | Emma Seppälä


In order to be successful people often think
they have to constantly be achieving constantly going from one thing to the next crossing
things off of their to do list. But as a consequence they’re not in the present
moment. And their productivity would be so much greater
if they stayed present, as well as their performance on their tasks. What’s more is that their relationships would
improve drastically. So what research on charisma shows is that
highly charismatic people are people who are able to be so fully present with other people
and that’s what leads to that incredible connection and that influence that they have. Research shows that our mind actually wanders
about 50 percent of the time and research also shows that when our mind is wandering
we are never as happy as when our mind is in the present moment. So if your mind in the future worrying about
something that’s going to happen or in the past because you’re regretting something or
angry at somebody, you are more likely to feel more negative emotions. But when you’re in the present moment, even
if you were doing a task you don’t particularly like you’ll actually feel happier. But also what we know is that you’ll be able
to be more productive when you’re in that state because you’re going to naturally be
focused. One way that you can start to bring your mind
back into the present, given its tendency to wander, is through breathing exercises
and relaxation exercises. If you relax your body your mind will naturally
start to settle down and breathing is a very effective way to do that very quickly. So meditation practices can really help you
observe your mind, become aware of its tendencies, for example, its tendency to wander, and help
you through that awareness and shift your attention back into the present moment. Meditation is an exercise in which you are
engaging fully with the present moment. So it’s a fantastic way to train your mind
to be more present with what is going on right now. We currently are in a time and an age were
multitasking has just become the norm. We’re constantly being pinged by our devices;
we’re constantly receiving emails and all day long it’s as if we were being interrupted
by from our stream of thought. What’s more is that we interrupt ourselves. So we’ll interrupt what we are doing to check
our phones, for example. So multitasking, however, is very draining
on our system. Our attention is constantly in demand. It’s as if you’re working on 12 different
things at the same time you can’t give your all to one of those things. With meditation practices you can really train
your mind to be more present and help you to stay on task with what is going on. Research shows that people who meditate can
increase their attention span. In fact, some in some research studies we
use a task called The Attentional Blink Task in which you show people a number of different
images in very fast sequence and usually we would only pick up every fourth image. We don’t actually see the others that’s why
we call it the attentional blink. Well, research has shown that after meditation
retreat people tend to not show that attentional blink or to show it less, which is very interesting. It means that if we calm our mind we’re somehow
able to pick up things better in our environment, which also makes sense in terms of how divided
our mind is with regards to multitasking and so forth. When our mind is very settled then we’re able
to literally see more things, register more.


100 Responses

  1. M.K

    July 30, 2016 2:01 pm

    Am I the only one who uses Brain age: concentration training (3DS Puzzle game) to train my working memory ?

  2. Tarek Aljawi

    July 30, 2016 2:34 pm

    so should I make a list to do one by one or ist bad to base your actions on list ? or just live and focus one the present ?

  3. KoTu

    July 30, 2016 4:06 pm

    I really dislike this sentence "research shown"… it means nothing. I wish there was reference what research, maybe link or at least title and names, where it was made etc.

  4. lehcsirk

    July 30, 2016 4:07 pm

    Part of it has to do with muscle memory aka myelin sheath; if you focus your attention but are upset or frustrated, you're going to mess up. But by relaxing and sometimes not consciously paying attention, your mind does a lot of cool and crazy and useful things on its own.

  5. Mats Gonggrijp

    July 30, 2016 4:19 pm

    she makes interesting points but the vocal fry combined with the question mark tone at the end of every sentence is making this painful to listen to

  6. Cadmus

    July 30, 2016 4:41 pm

    Human beings are not capable of multi-tasking and never were, we are not computers, humans are only capable of completing one task at a time.

  7. hasan Infogeek

    July 30, 2016 4:43 pm

    Think she is talking about weed and re watch the video. Could be a very nice ad you know…

  8. Bill Quinton

    July 30, 2016 5:39 pm

    The transcript reads "Research shows that our mine actually…"
    She must have been mult-eye-tasking then..:/

  9. Shawn Ravenfire

    July 30, 2016 7:10 pm

    No joke.  I was actually switching back and forth through three browser tabs while listening to her talk, and then about halfway through, I caught myself, and focused just on this video.

  10. djayjp

    July 30, 2016 7:40 pm

    0:45 "Research shows that we are never as happy when our minds are wandering." BS. Many occurrences of profound inspiration happen when doing just that.

  11. retro331

    July 30, 2016 8:30 pm

    im sorry, but this is complete bullshit. research also shows that this is all mental. everyone is different and happiness to you doesnt mean ill be happy thinking like you.

  12. ThisIsMyFullName

    July 30, 2016 8:34 pm

    My mind wanders because the present is often so dreadfully predictable and boring, it seems more productive to ponder about the things I can achieve and should be working on, rather then speak with the person sitting across from me.

  13. Archaic Revival

    July 30, 2016 9:37 pm

    So basically she's saying we should watch a black dot on the wall, without blinking, an hour a day.

  14. 1p6t1gms

    July 30, 2016 9:57 pm

    It is true, if you have the mental will to control what is coming in and leaving, however it is also important too relax the consciousness so that these new impressions, cognitions, inspirations and intuitions have a freer pathway to travel within oneself.

  15. Kj16V

    July 31, 2016 2:18 am

    During this video I: opened a new window to read another website, skipped parts of the video twice, and wrote this comment!

  16. KingThant Gaming

    July 31, 2016 5:07 am

    People watching/commenting think this is an easy task, and quite frankly, it is .. for 5 seconds, try focusing your mind on just breathing for 1 hours, while sitting in the exact position, i reckon only 10% if not lesser of the entire human race could do it.

  17. Christopher Motte

    July 31, 2016 6:59 am

    I just flat-out dislike california, self-aggrandizing, monopolizing, ersatz everything producing state, oh look at me I take up more than half the west coast fucking show offs

  18. brod2man

    July 31, 2016 12:10 pm

    I'm actually confused as to why people who advocate mindfulness then go on to write books about it. At most the books should be one page long.

    "Relax your body and breathe naturally. See how you feel and see what your mind focuses on. Practice this for long or short periods of time and note the differences"

    I feel like there's only so many ways this can be said and in the end it starts confusing the idea of mindfulness with all the different styles and techniques which I'm sure are totally personal. It's really hard to take these kinds of people seriously. I'm sure it wasn't their original intention but in the end they are forced to 'sell' their own brand of mindfulness, which if they are honest with themselves – they know is just one of the endless variety of techniques out there.

    Maybe I'm being cynical but I just get a bit sick of these endless videos saying the same idea over and over. I guess it's good if people find someone who speaks their version of mindfulness but otherwise it's just like seeing those articles people post on facebook 'Top 10 ways to get fit'.

  19. Jakob Sharkboyshark

    July 31, 2016 12:37 pm

    Being present is being 50% in focus. You cant tunnelvision life. Meditation is a really nice thing to do! Healthy middle… All that kind of stuff.

  20. Chad

    July 31, 2016 4:40 pm

    jerking off helps too…. single focus, satisfaction, light workout.. and so on… nothings better. 😀

  21. Roel Videler

    August 1, 2016 7:56 am

    If you're going to do professional speaking you might want to address vocal fry. It's distracting to some. Thanks for the video though!

  22. Trevor Miranda

    August 1, 2016 12:34 pm

    Research has shown that people who make claims from research become instantly more trustworthy when they also give the researchers/school that did the research and the journal it was in.

  23. VisualiseTheFun

    August 1, 2016 12:56 pm

    For the attention of OP,

    It is unethical and in generally poor taste to release a video that makes a claim(s) without making the viewer aware of criticism of said claim(s).

  24. adipolida

    August 1, 2016 6:08 pm

    Absolutely nothing new stated here, same old bs. "We need to be present and practice meditation/ breathing exercises to help us do that"
    Everyone knows that already! We are just unable to put it into practice consistently enough.

  25. Leigh Garfield

    August 2, 2016 10:45 am

    Interesting and thoughtful video. I've had great trouble with focus at times. Often easily distracted, wondering through cycles of procrastination, which in the end leads to endless cycles day to day, not achieving full potential. But I'm now becoming aware of this, through videos like yours and others, and my own intuition, guiding me. If you believe in numerology, you will notice this video ends in 3:33 secs. In numerology, the power of 3, 33 and 333 communicate messages from a divine realm. But only for those who believe, otherwise, it will not manifest in our lives. 🙂

  26. Nasir H.

    August 2, 2016 5:06 pm

    yes but a wandering mind is often a creative one. Just depends on what youre looking to accomplish.

  27. Paul Proudlock

    August 2, 2016 7:25 pm

    After the 10 day silent retreat I underwent I noticed I had a finer grain vision and picked up all the more subtle aspects of my experience that previously went unnoticed. Driving home all the markings in the pavement seemed to jump out at me, the individual leafs on the trees that sort of thing. The benefit of this is and was to be simply content…nothing mind blowing but I didn't want for that. Interesting video! Thanks.

  28. TesserId

    August 2, 2016 11:24 pm

    Wandering thoughts are a gift to creative minds. So, replace wander with wonder. And, if your mind is not happy when it wanders, then please shift into wonder. Is your situation really worth a wandering mind that makes you unhappy?

  29. Omega Haxors

    August 3, 2016 6:35 am

    This runs contrary to all the other videos on mindfulness this channels has.
    Combine that with her obvious lack of confidence in what she's saying, I think it's safe to say that the video's content is useless.

  30. Marvelous Whiskers

    August 7, 2016 9:34 am

    The mind wonders about 50% of the time? I don't think my mind wonders more than 5% of the time. Maybe people who are helpless to mind wondering just don't know how to use their mind.

  31. I Apologize for this Comment

    August 9, 2016 1:55 am

    That awkward moment when research shows that using the phrase "research shows that…" makes your statements sound more valid.

  32. North Owl

    August 19, 2016 1:14 am

    there have been teachings talking about " I am" presence and the "infinite now" for the longest, next

  33. Nick handsome

    August 26, 2016 9:19 pm

    this is gona sound mean but although shes speaking truth she seems like a moron. ill take my mindfulness advice from Sam Harris and Eckhart Tolle thank you very much

  34. Jan Cerny

    September 10, 2016 10:03 am

    My mind wanders way more than fifty percent of the time–mostly because most of my life sucks rancid balls. It's self preservation. If I made myself aware of how smelly city streets are and how tedious my job is, I'd off myself.

  35. Dennis

    September 12, 2016 7:12 pm

    Increase your productivity with singular focus gets you intellectual benefit, but letting your mind wander spawns creativity. Creativity is just as important as intellect, but this article implies otherwise.

  36. Spider Salticidae

    January 28, 2018 2:28 am

    I eat a home cooked low GI lunch in 15 mins and take a nap during lunch break. No need for meditation

  37. Wade Cortez

    March 22, 2018 6:27 pm

    Hello, I'm enthusiastic to let you know a method where you'll discover lot of new yoga procedures. Just simply type: "MindYoga4U" in Google. You will be a master with the tips available.

  38. Vinod M

    May 25, 2018 9:55 pm

    National emergency! Cover the topic of Tamil nationalism and its freedom from Indian state! They have let loose a group of snipers on mob to kill on sight

  39. whynottalklikeapirat

    October 3, 2018 12:42 pm

    The time that the mind is wandering, and running off the default network maybe be an key component of creative endeavour. This is just a bit of wikipedia but it is representative enough as a general reference:

    "In neuroscience, the default mode network (DMN), also default network, or default state network, is a large scale brain network of interacting brain regions known to have activity highly correlated with each other and distinct from other networks in the brain.[3]

    It was initially assumed that the default mode network was most commonly active when a person is not focused on the outside world and the brain is at wakeful rest, such as during daydreaming and mind-wandering. However, it is now known that it can contribute to elements of experience that are related to external task performance [4] It is also active when the individual is thinking about others, thinking about themselves, remembering the past, and planning for the future.[3][5] Though the DMN was originally noticed to be deactivated in certain goal-oriented tasks and is sometimes referred to as the task-negative network,[6] it can be active in other goal-oriented tasks such as social working memory or autobiographical tasks.[7] The DMN has been shown to be negatively correlated with other networks in the brain such as attention networks.[8]"

    You can read more about how that relates to creativity here:

    "Creativity and the default network: A functional connectivity analysis of the creative brain at rest"


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