TV, sofa and … tablet, mobile, emails, Whatsapps, like on Instagram … Telecommuting and … Twitter, work chat and WhatsApp parents group. And the same goes for studying. Concentration is more difficult every day. Distraction is the protagonist of every task we do throughout the day. It makes us feel more scattered, stressed, but also more tired. As Gabriela Paoli, psychologist and author of the book “Digital health: the keys to a healthy use of technology”, emphasizes, the hyperstimulation to which we are exposed in today’s society leads us to feel a constant hyperconnection. . The “always active” causes us to lose our physical, mental and emotional health.
The business of distraction
And it’s actually a business, to keep us trapped. Because companies can thus know our tastes, our concerns, our desires … and consequently sell us products, services, trips, etc. The best brains in the world are working day and night to invent strategies and resources to capture our attention, lose self-control, and make our minds addictive. It’s your business: to earn money by capturing our attention.
Why are we so distracted?
“The answer is basically because we are very tired,” says Paoli. Overstimulation and pandemic fatigue lower our threshold of attention, and we are more likely to be distracted and also more exposed to distractions. The physical environment is very important to maintain concentration, concentration. For example, studying in the classroom is not the same. It’s a more structured environment, where there is a teacher who leads the class, marks the times, and also there are classmates, who do the same, all of this promotes learning and concentration. And let’s not forget that being at a distance, that is to say with devices, a multiplicity of inputs, calls, WhatsApp, notifications, advertisements, hyperlinks … it is constant bombardment. “Our attention is weakened because we are easy prey for our devices. We live in a techno-globalized society and this will surely have a big impact on our learning and on our lives in general ”, underlines Paoli.
Neuroscience says it clearly: “Use it or lose it”: if we don’t use it, we lose it
We live in an age of volatile digital consumerism. We read news, articles, tweets, lightly and superficially. We barely have time to digest the information and we are already moving on to another. If we don’t use our attention and exercise our attention, memory and concentration, they will end up being scarce, “our brain is like a muscle it needs to be trained and it needs rest too. to strengthen and repair itself. ” It’s necessary. to stop the mental noise we expose it to.
Tips for avoiding distractions
– Avoid multitasking as much as possible: being with our computer or tablet it is very likely that we fall into multitasking, which is of very little benefit for concentration and attention. It is proven that it makes us more productive to do only one thing at a time.
– Attention and intention: Our – for what – is the one that will determine which of all the things going on around me, I will pay my attention, and therefore devote more time.
– Attitude is everything: if you think you are going to work or study, find your motivation. For example, what will you do when you have completed this task.
– Protection from the outside: turn off notifications and turn off devices. Put the mobile in airplane mode. Nothing is going to happen in the world because you are away for a few hours.
– Before starting to study or work, temporarily your work and your breaks.
– Some recommended and very favorable techniques of concentration and attention are meditation and regular practice of sport.
– Surround your workspace or study with plants and flowers, green encourages creativity and imagination as it relaxes your mind.
– Take care of your hours of rest: When you are tired, it is difficult for your cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream, it leaves them without energy, and you, exhausted. Poor sleep also increases the chances of losing control of emotions, indulging in temptations, and reduced attention throughout the day.
– Scattered mind, notebook on the side: write down your ideas, worry about freeing up space, do not store garbage in your short-term memory.
– It should be understood that after a few hours of multitasking, that is to say activities or jobs in which the prefrontal cortex must intervene, we will feel mental fatigue and we will not be able to think with the same agility and the same clarity.
Finally, we must remember that many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable and eventually come true since we have devoted all of our attention and time to them. In short, “we need to be able to conduct ourselves and self-regulate internally. Today more than ever, we need to use these abilities to be part of the age of connection and not of distraction, feeling, noise. , of the superficial. “