Just started reading ‘Deep Work‘ by Cal Newport yesterday and right away found it deeply interesting.

A new thing I learnt was about Myelin.

”myelin (is) a layer of fatty tissue that grows around neurons, acting like an insulator that allows the cells to fire faster and cleaner.”

The brain puts in effort to create this fatty tissue around the Neurons for optimum efficiency towards the task at hand. Connecting to other neurons more efficiently and strongly, creating neural highways. Cal goes on to write,

“it’s important to focus intensely on the task at hand while avoiding distraction because this is the only way to isolate the relevant neural circuit enough to trigger useful myelination.”

Whenever we are working towards a task, the moment theres a notification on our phone or theres someone calling our name out or there are dogs barking even, whatever grabs our attention and makes us think of something else, theres a new set of neurons that fire and we can’t isolate our task from it in our brains. The energy that our brain should be spending on myelination of the task at hand is used indiscriminately across all the things that are designed to grab attention.

Like a hole in a hose pipe (or many holes depending on how many things distract you) distractions take away from the main effort tremendously to a point where the work you set out doing is painted with mediocrity at best and is unattained at worst.