Skip to 0 minutes and 4 secondsRICHARD CHAMBERS: Research has found that we're distracted about half the time. So half the time we're awake, we're not actually paying attention to what we're doing.

Skip to 0 minutes and 11 secondsCRAIG HASSED: On a good day.

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsRICHARD CHAMBERS: On a good day. I think that could actually be a gross underestimation. But even if we take that conservative estimate of half the time, that means half the time we're sitting watching a lecture for an hour, we're actually learning for half an hour, and just daydreaming and doing something else for the other half. And, of course, that has significant implications for our productivity and our performance, whether at work or at school or playing sport or at home, but also for our well-being and stress levels because we quite often end up just worrying about things or dwelling on things and making ourselves unhappy.

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 secondsCRAIG HASSED: So this week, we're going to be looking at how things like stress and distraction and focus affect performance as well as well-being. We'll be looking, also, at the impact of things like multitasking and the importance of unitasking, being able to focus and engage on a task at a time. Also, the impact that technology can have, which is not always positive or beneficial. So, how can we be better masters of that technology rather than being totally distracted by it? And so there'll be various topics and strategies for how to apply mindfulness in those settings.

Skip to 1 minute and 17 secondsRICHARD CHAMBERS: And in this course, we really love to teach mindfulness through experiments and practical exercises. So, we'll encourage you to really do some of the activities and find out for yourself what the costs of multitasking are and how learning to unitask to focus on one thing at a time can benefit you.

Introduction to Week 3

Watch Craig and Richard introduce the topic for this week, improving work and study performance.

How we refer to work, study and learning

We refer to work and study throughout this week and the course as a whole, but we recognise that a lot of our learners are older and no longer in full-time work.

We also recognise that work doesn’t just include paid employment, but can also include volunteering, caring and working around the home. Learning can also include learning for personal and professional interest and not just at a school or university.

This week’s meditations

This week, you’ll have the chance to practise and experiment with the Body, breath and sound and Productivity meditations. We encourage you to work through the steps preceding these meditations, to better prepare you for and support you with these practices.


In this course, we’ve provided Spanish-language translations of course content, including steps, videos and meditation transcripts. We’re doing this to welcome a group of Spanish-speaking learners taking their first steps on their mindfulness journey.

It’s worth noting that English subtitles for videos and transcripts for meditations and feedback videos are also available on steps, like normal. On video steps, a time-stamped transcript is located just below the video and captions can be displayed using the video play controls. Transcripts for each feedback video are available from the Download section of the step.

We understand that this course attracts learners from all around the world, and although we have provided Spanish-language translations in the course, it’s worth remembering that English is still the specified language of the course, and as stated in the FutureLearn Code of Conduct, learners “will communicate in English only (or the specified language of the course).”

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This video is from the free online course:

Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance

Monash University

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