[CQ-Contest] Improving Concentration
Rick - K6VVA
dx35 at hilding.com
Sat Jan 6 00:33:04 EST 2007
A couple of more items for Pete's Master List.
Dale, KG5U, mentioned:
> Comfort is a big deal to me, Pete.
> If I'm not comfortable, I'm cannot focus.
> I have a fan running at slow speed in the far corner of the room to
> augment air circulation so my little world doesn't get stuffy...
IMHO, "comfort" is mega-Important. I start to gag if I'm in a warm to hot
stuffy room (one reasons I had difficulty concentrating in similar
condition classrooms in school), and also have a fan on to circulate
air. For Field Day, etc., I have a very small battery operated fan to blow
air on my face.
In my first year of college, one professor told us that various studies
indicated that the optimum room temperature for "mental activity" was in
the low 40 degree range (if I remember correctly). I would agree. When it
came time to take our final exams at the end of the semester (December or
January), before handing out the tests (as he headed toward the windows),
the professor said: "Remember what I told you at the beginning of semester
about the optimum temperature for mental activity?" Most folks groaned and
moaned, 'cuz they knew what was coming next. Yes, it was in the low 40's
outside, and he opened all the windows. I loved it. IMHO, operating
environment temperature can be a really important factor.
I forgot to mention one thing I've found extremely helpful is to
periodically put cold water on my face at least every 4 hours,
especially during a 24 hour contest. Fortunately I have running water
within a few feet of the rig, but a person could keep a bowl of water with
ice in it on the floor next to the operating chair along with a
washcloth. In the late night/wee morning hours, the cold water on the face
routine also wakes me up, and...get back to concentrating better. I get
real miserable if I don't do this, and it definitely affects my ability to
Shoes are also ditched during contests, and I wear what resemble flip-flops
but are more of a sandal (so there is no widget between the toes to allow
for socks if desired in cold weather). Going without socks in these is so
much more comfortable during warm weather, but a person could also use a
small space heater to keep their feet warm if desired.
IMHO, clothing is a major factor in comfort. Not that anyone would wear a
Polyester Leisure Suit during a Contest, but especially if it's warm or
hot, I recommend wearing cotton vs. any Polyester or hybrid blends...it is
much cooler. Loose fitting items also contributedto the comfort factor. I
prefer a tank top and shorts, but in the winter sometimes dress a bit
warmer. I haven't tried operating buck-naked yet, but maybe sometime if
the A/C breaks and it's over 100 degrees :-) If you ever hear K6VVA/N, you
can visualize what's on the other end - ha ha ha.
I've always had problems sitting for lengthy periods, so try to
periodically stand-up and stretch during times of unanswered Auto-CQing. A
comfortable chair is a MUST. I use a swivel chair, but also add extra
cushions for more butt-padding. This has helped tremendously!!! I've been
doing Tendonitis Hand-Therapy exercise during some Auto-CQ
periods. Similar hand exercises could be preventative in nature for those
who haven't yet experienced this affliction.
Umh, I never thought of this before, but you could set an alarm clock to
periodically remind you to stretch, put cold water on your face, etc. (as
long as that wouldn't create any type of "Assisted" operating problem :-)
FYI & 73...
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