How Easily One Gets Distracted

It’s very easy to get distracted from your current activity and you can realize it only by recalling how many interruptions you had during the day.


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I also wrote here a post on the squirrel syndrome, shifting attention to whatever shines brighter.

British scientist from all over the world discovered that, by far, the one carrying all the blame for interruptions is the smartphone. You know, nowadays few people use the stupid phone. Look around you, everybody uses the smartphone, almost without exception.

To better understand what the notion of being distracted by your phone means, imagine that during the football championship final, a player stops running. Even if he has the ball right there, he stops to check a phone notification. The whole thing goes to hell and you have to work a lot to get back to the initial situation. Most times it will never come out as you intended.

If you are a manager, the interruptions grow exponentially: from spam visits to the most simple or complicated inquiries. The best part is that you can control most of these inquiries. It’s up to you how you accredit power of attorney, if your subordinates learned they have to ask your approval for every little thing… or not.

Another time consuming element is the noisy colleague talking about what happened in the club last weekend or about a client. Either way, he/she will really exasperate and distract you.

I can also mention social media or navigating the Internet, but I won’t. You know how that works, let’s not generalize.

What can you do so you won’t be distracted so often:

  • Ingest a high dose of ignorance, careful though with the dosage, it can also have side effects;
  • Don’t be the slave of your emails, I say this as many times as I can;
  • If you know the phone is the biggest distraction, place it on silent mode. In your drawer. Lock it down and then swallow the key;
  • You know that you cannot breathe without refreshing the phone, tablet, laptop, watch and desktop email app every minute?! Cancel all notifications. If something is super urgent, nobody sends an email as an fire alarm;
  • Don’t kid yourself into thinking you’ll multitask, you won’t;
  • You suffer from chronic scrolling, the thing leading to a blue screen? Set a clear schedule for browsing. And by this I don’t mean each time when it’s some minutes past something, sharp!

A lot of studies were made on how much we get distracted daily, but the most efficient approach is to do your own study. Write down the things you did in a particular day, how long did it take to do them and the remaining time is the distraction time. For example, if you draw a report in 40 minutes and usually it only takes you 10 to do it – the 30 minutes difference is the time you were “distracted”.

Good luck keeping focus!

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