How Not To Focus

Your RAM has limits

Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO and indicted con man: “I’m infamous for playing League of Legends during phone calls.”

You don’t say, Sam?

The disgraced CEO of bankrupt cryptocurrency enterprise FTX is infamous for a lot more than playing video games–during meetings with investors, media interviews, and team planning sessions.

But before the dramatic collapse of FTX, Bankman-Fried offered this explanation for his habit:

“I think I have tons of RAM, and a relatively small hard drive.”

He theorizes that he keeps most of his mental data in working memory; if he stops thinking about something, he won’t remember it. He plays League of Legends, he says, to help himself relax.

Which might be a good thing if he were actually relaxing. Relaxation helps your mind consolidate memory, and solve problems.

Many people with ADHD use things like brown noise and fidget spinners to help their brains focus on a task.

BUT: we only have so much mental bandwidth.

And when you’re filling up that bandwidth with extra stimulation that drains your decision making capacity, you’re playing with fire.


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