I’m in the middle of writing a meeting report and my younger sister calls.
I pull myself away to answer the phone, but that only lasts momentarily, before I begin checking my emails.
Splitting my attention, between our conversation and emails without even noticing.
I close my emails and pull my self back into the conversation. Although again only minutes later I find myself browsing the web!!
Has this ever happened to you? Engaging in mindless distractions when you should be focused on one?
Multitasking, while on the phone.
Scrolling through Instagram, during a presentation.
Answering a text, while mid-conversation with someone.
That last one really ticks me off. But it’s no better than checking my emails while on the phone with my sister!
And it’s not that our conversation wasn’t interesting. Although these days I’ve noticed myself dividing my focus between tasks.
Why has it become so difficult to stay concentrated on one thing at a time?
Our need for mindless distractions has social consequences. But there is a way to become more present and focused.
Millennials are the first generation to grow up in the digital age. Living through exponential advancements in technology.
The expectations to move forward at the speed of technology has made it impossible to enjoy the small things in life.
These pressures have had adverse consequences on our health. With only so many big milestones to celebrate, what happens when you forget to relish the small wins?
Millennials are suffering from depression and anxiety at a greater ratio than any other generation due to perfectionist pressures. Always striving to become better has made burnout and stress-related issues a norm.
When your automatic choices begin to be detrimental to your health and happiness, you can longer rely on them.
Developing a habit of spending unconscious time on mindless distractions has created a need for conscious living.
Millennials may be considered an entitled generation, but are we really to blame?
Growing up in the sharing era. Connecting the world like never before through instant messaging, YouTube and Facebook.
Living in a fast-paced environment and access to the world wide web, we’re continually trying to catch up, because it keeps evolving.
Now that our gadgets work at the speed of light, there is no way to keep up. Creating challenges to be fully present in any one activity.
The devices in our pockets have provided a network for relentless distraction and stimulation. Forming larger barriers to social interaction, than the connections they were created to make.
The exponential growth of technology has made us less social than more, no matter how many Facebook friends you might have.
Spending our time glued to a screen, walking the zombie march to and from work, through the airport, at café’s and even at social events.
Isolated and alone, it’s easier to pick up the phone and resort to mindless distractions than look around and engage in a conversation with a stranger.
Ah!! But what can we do?
In a connected society, you have to be proactive in the time you spend on mindless distractions. Learning to become present on what you’re doing in the moment.
Technology is not a bad thing when used properly. Avoid splitting your attention by focusing on one thing.
Actively listening to the conversation you’re having – in person or on the phone.
Paying attention and contribute to the meeting you’re in.
Working on one task at a time and completing it, before moving onto the next.
Become self-aware when you engage in mindless distractions. Picking up your phone when you’re standing in line. Surfing online while in the middle of a task.
Instead, dedicate conscious time to what you’re doing.
Here are 4 techniques that you can implement to try and avoid mindless distractions:
1. Meditate: Learn to let your thoughts come and go rather than suffocate your mind. Begin with something as short as 5 minutes of deep breathing.
2. Pomodoro Technique: Use this productivity hack to increase your focus on a task. Blocking outside distractions will raise your awareness and productivity drastically.
3. Practice Gratitude: Place a journal or piece of paper next to your bed and write down 3 things you’re grateful for each day. Use it as a reminder to stop and enjoy the small joys in your day.
4. High-Intensity Exercise: When your heart rate is beating at 80% capacity; it’s difficult to focus on anything but the exercise you are doing.
The power is in your hands on how to manage your time and self. The ease of access to mindless distractions has made it easy to engage in.
Falling into the trap of mindless distractions by habit rather than by conscious choice.
How often do you reach for your phone when you stand in line? What would happen if you stopped yourself and just stood in line?
Would you be able to handle the boredom or suffer through the agonizing nag for mindless distractions?
Try and leave your phone at your desk during your next meeting. Close down your computer when talking on the phone. Eat lunch away from your desk and socialize with others.
Or use one of the 4 strategies above to create more self-awareness.
What ever you choose, the goal is to develop greater awareness around your habit for mindless distractions. Don’t look to change anything at first, but discover how frequently it occurs and go from there.