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  While the researchers assumed that the well-structured daily plans would be most effective when it came to the execution of tasks, they were wrong: the detailed daily plans demotivated students. Harford argues that inevitable distractions often render the daily to-do list ineffective, while leaving room for improvisation in such a list can reap the best results.

  while“尽管”;assume“假设”,名词形式assumption;well-structured“妥善组织的,合理安排的”;when it comes to“当提到,就...而论”;execution“执行”;demotivate“使失去动力,使变得消极”;inevitable“无法避免的”;distraction“分散注意力”;render“使得”;ineffective“无效的”;leave room for“留下...的余地”;improvisation“即兴创作,即席演奏”,在此结合语境可以理解为“自由发挥”;reap the best results“收获最好的结果”。

  In order to make the most of our focus and energy. We also need to embrace downtime, or as Newport suggests, “be lazy.”

  in order to do相当于for the purpose of doing“为了”;make the most of“充分利用”;embrace“拥抱”;downtime“(完成工作后的)自由支配时间”。

  “Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as Vitamin D is to the body...idleness is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done,” he argues.

  idleness“闲散,无事可做”;vacation“假期”;indulgence“放纵”;be indispensable to“对...必不可少”;paradoxically“自相矛盾地”;be necessary to“对...是必要的”;get any work done“完成任何工作”。

  Srini Pillay, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, believes this counter-intuitive link between downtime and productivity may be due to the way our brains operate. When our brains switch between being focused and unfocused on a task, they tend to be more efficient.

  aasistant“助理的”;psychiatry“精神病学”;counter-intuitive“违反直觉的”;link“联系”;productivity“生产率”;be due to形容词短语“由于”,due to为副词短语;operate“运转”;switch“转换”;tend to do“倾向于”。

  “What people don’t realise is that in order to complete these tasks they need to use both the focus and unfocus circuits in their brain”, says Pillay.

  complete“完成”;circuit“线路”。

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