Focused Thinking

Focused thinking is a particular form of thinking where we utilize the prefrontal cortex of our brain to process, analyze, and understand specific information while ignoring all other stimuli. It critical part of our learning process and goes in tandem with diffused thinking. How often have you been involved with a random task such as driving, taking a shower, cooking yourself dinner when suddenly you have a "Eureka" moment to a question that had been eluding you for a while? This is the brain's diffused thinking. Here, our brain works with a lot more information at a superficial level (at first) and then slowly develops a better understanding of the problem. Focused and defused thinking can be best explained with the analogy of a torch. A torch may have a very focused beam or a large, diffused beam. Both of these help you see in the dark. Still, one can light a particular area very well, which, in our analogy, is like focused thinking. The other lights up a broader area, but with a lesser intensity of light, analogous to diffused thinking. Both of these modes of thought are very important in learning and solving problems. Focused thinking helps us dive deep into a particular issue, while diffused thinking helps us gain a more holistic view of the problem, better equipping us of understanding problems should they arise in the future. The focused mode of thinking lets us understand the basics of a topic without any distractions, after which, we can passively internalize what we've learned and then connect them to bits of information we already know using diffused thought.