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Are Distractions Affecting Your Productivity?

Posted by Dr. Dhaarna Bhardwaj
Published on : 2020-01-01

Have you ever wondered how many hours pass while we go through FB (or any social media) everyday? How many of us often even loose the tract of the time while we are on Netflix, hulu or youtube. You find a movie or web series you really wanted to watch and end up staying up late at night and later feeling guilty over it.

The algorithms used by these platforms just hook you on them and make you consuming their content one after the other.

“I sit down to watch a 50-minute show but then end up watching 2 or more episodes,” says Manoj, a college student, and he is not alone.

Internet has of late has become a part of our lives. Even the students are not unaffected by the constant distraction of social media. They spend large amount of their time in communicating online and even schools nowadays have strict rules about phone use in classrooms and campus. Zoom

While technology is a boon and helps us stay connected, its overuse has started interfering people at their workplaces as well leading to decreased productivity.

According to new CareerBuilder research, one in five employers (19%) think workers are productive less than five hours a day. More than half of employers (55%) say that workers' mobile phones/texting are the culprits.

Unfortunately, replacing distraction with focus is not that simple.

According to a study led by psychologist Wilhem Hofmann & Roy Baumeister (2012), People fight desires all day long. The five most common desires subjects fought were eating, sleeping and sex but it also included desire for “taking break from hard work, check emails and social networking sites, surf web, watch TV or listen to music. Inability to resist these temptations is normal and not an exception.

This has been supported by a McKinsey study (2012) which found that average worker spends 60 percent of workweek engaged in electronic communication and Internet searching which close to 30 percent time dedicated to reading and answering email alone.

Carl Newport in his book Deep Work stated that network tools are distracting us from work which capture our unwavering attention while decreasing our capacity to stay focused.

Staying focused is required in today’s uncertain and highly competent world. Carl Jung, the famous Psychologist had built a tower of stone in a quiet and secluded place so that he could focus his mind.

It is always a choice to either engage in something productive or just while away time.

Usually, a large number of people get succumbed to stress and anxiety because the major part of their working life revolves around doing things which are urgent rather than planning and doing things which are important.

Therefore, better attention management leads to enhanced productivity and the ultimate result is the ability to create a life of choice around things which are important to you. More than just exercising focus, it is taking the control back over your priorities and time.

In this frenzied work environment in order to accomplish things which are of value to you, you have to deliberately chose what you attend to and shape your experiences accordingly.

Some simple habits to inculcate:

  • Turning off email and Push notifications-they are designed to steal your attention.
  • Using headphones, putting up Don’t disturb signs, moving to a quite zone.
  • One Window on Computer screen at a time.
  • Regular breaks away from computer/gadgets.
  • Unplugging completely for 1-2 hours daily.
  • Control thoughts by jotting them down during work to look at them sometime later.

These simple habits will build your attention muscle and reclaim the control over your life and skyrocket your productivity

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