A Deep Season Begins
Now that we’re entrenched in spring I can indulge one of my favored deep work training routines: listening to baseball on the radio.
America’s pastime unfolds slowly. The experience of listening to a game lacks the rapid, shiny stimuli that defines so much modern entertainment.
This is important. The more comfortable you become in the absence of such distractions, the easier you’ll find it to persist in the non-stimulating (but satisfying) pursuit of depth.
Baseball on the radio also requires sustained concentration. To really understand what’s happening in the game, you need to have followed every pitch in the inning that led to the current moment.
This requires that you to hold your attention on a single target for an extended period of time: another effective exercise to sharpen your ability to focus.
This is not the first time, of course, that I’ve written about the neuronal benefits of FM fandom. But this year I’ve cemented a new twist to my routine: I read a book during the commercial breaks.
Let me paint the (painfully geeky) scene: I sit outside at the table in my backyard, Sony analog-dial radio tuned into 106.7, an LED headlamp on my head, and a book in my lap. When the inning ends or the pitcher is pulled, I dive into another chapter of the book; then back to the game; then back to the book — the evening unfolding in a slow concentrated present.
If there’s a more pleasurable way to train one’s ability to achieve depth, I’m yet to find it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, Bryce Harper just came up to bat against R. A. Dickey in a one-run game…this I’ve got to hear.