Smartphones, social media and constant notifications from various apps and news services dominate our private life as well as our everyday work - the ability to concentrate often suffers as a result. With these tips you can increase your attention.
The deadline for an important project or report is approaching and although time is of the essence, it seems impossible to think clearly and focus on the task at hand. While randomly scrolling through various websites, your gaze wanders to the blinking smartphone at regular intervals - another message. The game of distraction and procrastination has reached its final climax. Who does not know the feeling of a complete blockage in the head?
Smartphones, social media and constant notifications from various apps and news services have dominated our private lives and our everyday work for quite some time - especially if we spend most of our working hours in front of a screen. The extent of the constant sensory overload is considerable: "Our attention span on computers and smartphones has become so incredibly short that we spend an average of only 47 seconds on each screen," writes Dr. Gloria Mark, professor of computer science at the University of California, Irvin in her book "Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity."
But that is by no means a reason to completely renounce the new technologies. These five tips will help you regain attention and focus:
A psychological study led by Professor Larry Rosen from California State University has shown that notifications on the smartphone can create anxiety and stress. The human brain reacts to novelty and therefore cannot simply ignore an alarm. That's why turning off notifications on your smartphone is a great way to reduce distractions.
If you tend to want to handle all tasks at the same time, you will quickly notice that the performance drops. In addition, the stress level increases. Therefore, it is advisable to always finish one task before beginning the next. The Pomodoro technique helps to systematically counteract the so-called multitasking:
First you write down tasks and divide them into four 25-minute sections. Now concentrate on the first task for 25 minutes and then take a five-minute break. This process is repeated for the next three work sections. After the first four pomodoros, take a longer break of about 15 to 20 minutes.
It is important to take short breaks in front of the screen during working hours to promote concentration and productivity. The brain can recover during this time and recharge its batteries. Whether you meditate for 10 minutes or take a short walk in the fresh air is up to individual preference.
Recharge your batteries while playing Candy Crush or scrolling through your Instagram feed? according to dr There is nothing fundamentally wrong with Rosen. The problem only arises when the breaks become longer or more frequent than intended. dr Rosen therefore recommends inserting a so-called "tech break". All you need is a timer and some self-control. Before you have to refocus on a task, take a minute or two and open all your favorite apps on your smartphone. Similar to the Pomodoro technique, you then set the timer for 15 minutes, mute the phone, and set it aside face down. When the alarm rings, take another minute or two to check the phone. Repeat this process three to four times until you take a longer break.
In the age of smartphones and social media, many people find it difficult to fully immerse themselves in the content of a text. The reason: screens are designed in such a way that you can scan the written text as quickly as possible. Important information is often lost in the process. In addition, the attention is not entirely on the text because information on the screen is constantly updated. The brain adapts to this reading style. "We have developed a cognitive impatience with our lives," says Professor Maryanne Wolf of the University of California. She coined the term "deep reading" and advises reading a printed book for at least 20 minutes a day. It is important to be patient - it may take some time before you can fully engage and enjoy reading again.