Focus


News, Productivity / Monday, August 11th, 2014

We currently have over 200 channels of TV to watch. My SiriusXM has about 150 channels of talk, music, shows, etc. I follow about 50 blogs and blog myself in two different ones. There is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and much much more. How do we keep up with it all?  How do you keep the constant stream of information, which bombards us each day, at a sane level?

The thing that suffers the most, is focus. I sometimes find it hard to stay with one task until it’s completed. There may be a new tweet or FB post that has the secret to life and here I am doing work and missing it. So we constantly check the feeds, we perk up at every notification. Our phones chirp, our desktop is filled with little sliding bits of information that yells for our attention. A few seconds here, a few there. I can get back into the rhythm and back to what I was doing quickly. Well in fact, you can’t. Study after study shows that it’s not possible to move between tasks quickly enough to actually do two at the same time. We’re either doing one and not the other or vice versa.

Studies show that it takes between 15-20 minutes to get back to the place you were cognitively when you move from one task to another and back again. Imagine how much time is wasted getting refocused.

So what are we to do about this? I believe we have to consciously and continually work to stay focused on what we are doing. Some people call this ‘being in the moment” and I like that phrase. Do what you’re doing and only what you’re doing until you’ve done it. Sounds about right to me.

 

CC-License: CC BY

Photo: Markus Spiske / www.temporausch.com

Leave a Reply