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Can you Make it to the End?

December 1, 2017

 

Can you Make it to the End of this Article Without Looking at your Phone?

 

 

How often do you turn your head to catch a glance of your phone?  

 

When you start noticing, you may be surprised how often it is.

 

A few years ago, I became aware of the frequent movement of my neck and realized that my phone was training me.  From that point on, I decided to take control by self-imposing limits on my phone time. 

 

We are training our brains to attend to shorter and shorter time spans.  Phones and social media constantly interrupt us from our current activity.  Twitter has trained our focus to short and sweet 140 characters. 

 

How does this impact us at work when we need to focus on a project that requires concentrated attention for longer spans of time?   

 

Microsoft chief Satya Nadella said, “The true scarce commodity of the future will be human attention.”  This loss of ability to stay focused is a clear indicator that attention is a trait essential to modern employees seeking success.

 

To learn more read what Daniel Goleman shares “Researchers find negative impacts on our ability to learn, reason logically, solve problems, and be creative.” https://www.kornferry.com/institute/focus-emotional-intelligence

 

The good news?  

 

Due to neural plasticity, we can reverse this trend and re-train the brain’s attention span. Start here:

 

1.    Limit use of multiple screens at a time and if possible, limit the time and amount of times you check your social media daily. Decide in advance how frequently you will check and for how long and set a timer to remind you to wrap it up.

 

2.    Start a mindfulness practice to improve your attention capacity.  You will strengthen a part of the brain called the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC).  The ACC serves as a kind of compass that helps us to detect when we are off task.  Mindfulness training on attention facilitates identification of conflicting information faster which allows reorientation to the task at hand.

 

3.    You’ve heard it before, stop multitasking.  Complete tasks sequentially to reduce the amount of time spent switching gears (research shows it takes up to 30% longer to complete multitasked activities and they contain twice as many errors).

 

4.    Start JournalingThe practice of getting things out of our heads and onto paper helps us focus on the one item that remains.  Find out more about inspirational journaling and purchase journals at https://www.conniec.net/shop.

 

I teach tools of mindfulness and other focused attention practices to help you improve your capacity for attention by creating greater awareness of the mind.  Learn more. 

 

By the way, how many times did you turn your head to look toward your phone while reading this article? 

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