Making beeswax soap can be tricky. Beeswax can make soap lather really nicely, but if you use too much, it has the opposite effect and not only will the soap not lather properly, but it makes the bar waxy.

While interesting, I did not need to watch 5 videos on making beeswax soap at that time.

Directed Attention Fatigue sets in.

My attention was directed toward finding information on bees. While looking for that, I needed to dismiss other information I was seeing that was not needed for the book I was writing. After focusing on bees for awhile, I reached my limit. I couldn’t fight off distractions anymore.

After focusing on something a long time, distractions started to win. I learned how to make soap because I needed a break. I had directed attention fatigue. And just like our kids, I got tired of the project at-hand and wanted to do something else.

Right now I am reading the book, Boosting Executive Skills in the Classroom. I ran across research on the restorative effects of spending time in nature. Attention Restoration Theory (ART) asserts that spending time in nature restores directed attention fatigue. I tried it myself, and it works.

How does spending time in Nature help?

Nature is inherently captivating, and our attention is free to focus on anything of interest. For example- I see a bird eating berries. I decide to watch it. I hear a bee buzzing and I decide to see what it is doing. I look at clouds or things blowing in the wind.

I can pay attention to things if I want to. It’s called ‘soft fascination’. It’s free time for our attention, and is restorative.

Attention Restoration Theory Guidelines

1. Walking in nature improves attention more than walking in an urban or man-made environment.
2. Playgrounds or structured play areas require directed attention, so they are not as restorative.
3. Working in a garden pulling weeds or other mundane work outside has a restorative effect.
4. Walking around areas where there is a body of water is helpful
5. Nature that is interesting to look at is helpful-hills, trees, big rocks, etc.
6. Looking out a window at nature helps

How can this idea be used to help students?
Take breaks outside. Model looking at something happening in nature. A bird sitting on a branch, butterflies fluttering, ants carrying food across the sidewalk.
Interesting to Note
Watching TV and being on the computer do not restore attention, yet are commonly used as a way to take a break.