Remember the saying, "feed a cold, starve a fever"? Our generation needs to follow an edited version of the saying; feed your focus, starve your distractions.
There’s no denying that our generation struggles with consistent focus. Even as I write this blog, I’ve stopped to sip my coffee 3 times, looked at my phone twice and thought about the next few things on my to do list. What happened to being present?
Multiple screen time with an over consumption of bite-size information.
We’ve trained our minds to consume information in bite-size doses. We think we're being ultra efficient by doing this but in reality, we never allow our brains to settle into a consistent focused state or "flow".
Our justifications sound something like, if I just take a quick 5 minute break to respond to this message, I won’t have to do it later. The problem is, when you take your brain out of a state of flow and ask it to focus on something else for 5 minutes it takes double the amount of time to jump back into what you were originally working on.
Here’s a fun everyday example:
Imagine you’re on your way to work and you get a notification that someone commented on your latest Instagram post. We all know how exciting that is! That's real life gratification right there. So you obviously stop in your tracks to read the message.
Then you start to wonder what that person has been up to. So you click on their profile. They got married! Oh wow, you went to highschool with one of the bridesmaids. How weird! You click on her profile. Oh my gosh, she has the dog you want! You take a screenshot and send the picture of the dog to your sister. You look up at the time…you’re late!
Frustrated, you run out the door beating yourself up for getting dragged down the insta-vortex. With your mind n a fog from all the extra screen time, you suddenly realize you left your transit pass at home. You go back to get it and then in a final huff of anxiety your run down the street to catch the streetcar. We've all been there.
Here’s another way to handle the same situation:
You’re almost out the door and someone comments on your latest Instagram post. We all know how exciting that is! Curious, you make a mental note (or put a reminder in your calendar) to check it later and put your phone away. You come home in the evening, put all your bags down, and settle onto the couch with your phone and a blanket.
‘Hey Google, set an alarm for 30 minutes.’
The timer goes on and you now have one whole hour of uninterrupted social media time. This is the only time of the day you allow yourself to check your social media accounts. So you must use it wisely. You respond to your messages but don’t spend too much time dwelling. Instead you catch up on your friends’ stories, update yourself on what the latest news and check on a few accounts of influencers you follow. When the 30 minutes is over, you’re all caught up, and somehow don't feel muddled or anxious. Why? You made yourself boss and put social media in a time slot you can manage.
Master your time so YOU can own your day.
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