If you’re one of those people who, while working on the internet or scrolling through your phone, frequently interrupts themselves to check email, open a new tab, or take a look at a cat video someone sent you, you’re not alone.
Rather – as with most people these days – the problem is your concentration. Your ability to focus while using a screen is greatly reduced, and you may need to take steps to correct it if you don’t want to be the guy or gal who fusses and binges and never gets anything done.
Gloria Mark, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Irvine, has written a book about attention lapses. She has just been released”Attention Span: The Innovative Way to Restore Balance, Happiness, and Productivity” says that almost 20 years ago, people spent an average of 2.5 minutes of focused attention when they were working online or doing something using screens before switching to another screen. By 2012, this time span was reduced to 75 seconds. And by 2021, it has shrunk to a paltry 47 seconds.
U Wall Street Journal She said in the paper that this was not speculation: “We used sophisticated computer-recording techniques to measure attentional focus, as well as heart rate monitors and wearables to measure stress.”
Email is a huge distraction, and research shows that people check theirs about 77 times a day.
After each break – and most of them are self-imposed – Mark talked CNN it takes about 25 minutes to get back on track.
“If we look at work from the perspective of project switching, as opposed to a micro view of screen switching, we find that people spend about 10 and a half minutes in any work project before they are interrupted—internally or by someone else—and then switch to another work project. ” said Mark.
But the price is not limited to the performance. Conversely, studies show that interruptions and insufficient attention also increase anxiety and stress while decreasing productivity. She said the brain pays by trying to switch attention back and forth, leading to errors and missed deadlines.
This is an international phenomenon. Because people don’t — can’t? — note long, Indian business publication Mint informs that “there is an ongoing desire for fresh, engaging content, and people are paying more attention to shorter content formats for bite-sized” entertainment and information.
Not just a distraction
Shifting attention causes stress. CNN reports that blood pressure increases, heart rate increases and people sometimes feel more tired, in addition to making mistakes and accomplishing less.
Young people know that this is a problem. As a student column headline at American River College Tok said, “TikTok is cutting our attention span with every swipe.” The article says that short videos “make it very easy for people to lose interest in longer sessions” and that “those who use the app for more than 90 minutes can narrow their collective attention spans over time.”
In 2019 This is reported by The Guardian that “the information age has changed the overall scope of attention. A recently published study by researchers at the Technical University of Denmark suggests that the collective global attention span is narrowing because of the amount of information that is provided to the public.’ It says the findings, published in Nature Communications, show that “people now have more things to focus on, but often focus on things for short periods of time.”
According to the article, Professor Sune Lehmann, who participated in the researchsays a press release from the Technical University of Denmark, “It seems that the time allocated to attention in our collective consciousness has a certain size, but the cultural objects that compete for this attention have become denser.”
Claws back control
Mark told CNN that getting outside — say, a 20-minute walk — can help people relax and get more done. “We found that it can help people generate many more ideas — it’s called divergent thinking,” she said.
Another way to regain control over this real problem is to pay attention to how you use technology. In the end, it can be both a blessing and a curse.
You can also do something that doesn’t require your mind. “I have a friend who is a professor at MIT, and his favorite thing to do is pick up socks,” Mark told CNN. “Another friend likes to iron. Ideas can be born, and then we go back to the hard work and see it with new eyes.”
She suggested scheduling the boring things you need to do at the beginning of the day. Block out distractions later so you can accomplish more when you’re feeling energized. And at night, write down what you still need to do, “then put the list away,” CNN said.
Several countries, including Ireland and France, have introduced “right to opt out” policies that require workers not to respond to work-related emails when they’re off the clock, Mark wrote in The Wall Street Journal.
Blog for George Washington University School of Business offers tips for improving concentration. Items on the list include:
- Practice meditation. If you don’t know how, look on the Internet, where there is a lot of information. Although, oddly enough, you may find that it challenges your focus.
- Practice listening carefully.
- Read on — and pay attention. It said that it is necessary to develop a reading routine and set aside time for reading without distraction.
- Get moderate exercise by jogging, cycling, or brisk walking.
- Reduce distractions.
- Focus on doing one thing at a time.