By Jay Ayer
I have difficulty focusing on many things. Lectures, readings, movies, and other things that require full attention to understand are difficult for me to pay attention to. This fact, however, does not mean that I do not absorb that information.
I find it easier to passively gather information than to actively listen to a person. Mainly, if I can listen to a source without being required to look at any visuals, I will retain more information.
For example, I listen to podcasts and informational videos while playing videos games. By doing this, I basically put myself on autopilot for the game and can listen to a vast amount of information for hours on end.
If you were to ask me what I did in the game, I would have no idea, but if you were to ask me any fact from the hours of information I had listened to, I could probably recite it to you.
I employ this strategy when in school because it helps me to learn new information more efficiently and effectively. If I listen to an instructor teach and pay attention to something else like doodling in my notebook, I retain more information than if I had given my full, undivided attention.
As confusing as this method of learning may sound, it works for me. This is just one aspect of who I am, and I want people to know this because I do not want them to think of me as rude or ignorant when I appear to not be giving them attention.
I feel that many people in my life may feel that I ignore them, but that is simply not to case. I learn by not paying conscious attention to anything. I feel that if I focus on things directly, my mind is cluttered with distractions that keep me from absorbing information.
And it is so interesting to me that these distractions, when acknowledged, help me focus more than when actively trying to avoid them. This entire post is confusing, I know, but I don’t know any other way to explain it.