In the old days (before notifications from calls, texts, tweets, et al.), work wasn’t interrupted by cell phones, laptops or computers, and focus didn’t compete with multitasking.
Research with rats shows they are more likely to create lasting memories when they take time away from a new experience. Apparently, the brain needs downtime to process new information. When you’re constantly interrupted by stimuli, you aren’t able to absorb important details.
Digital distraction is increasingly problematic for young people, who consider themselves “digital natives” and can’t imagine living without the constant stimulation of their electronic devices. Studies have shown that if you are accustomed to accessing multiple screens, you crave that stimulation when you’re without it. Unfortunately, that leads to a lack of focus and perseverance.
Try these techniques to improve your concentration:
- Limit the amount of media you use simultaneously
- Turn off audible notifications
- Spend 30 minutes a day in quiet thought, reflection or planning, without any electronics
- Spend 10 minutes a day outside
Do you find yourself getting distracted more easily than you used to? Have you found ways to increase your focus? Leave a comment, below.