Digital Distraction

Digital Distraction
Posted on 10/03/2019
Smart phone with "Hello" on screenDid you know the average person checks their phone 150 times a day? Technology overload is taking a toll on many of us, both professionally and personally. According to research from Microsoft, when we leave a task to respond to a message, it takes about 16 minutes to get back to our previous point of productivity. We have become proficient at responding at the expense of performing our best work.

People who regularly juggle multiple streams of content do not pay attention, memorize, or manage their tasks as well as those who focus on one thing at a time. We may think we’re distracted only briefly, or that we’re being more productive when we multitask, but we end up wasting time and energy on relatively unimportant information and interactions. The result is reduced productivity and engagement, both at work and at home. As you have probably heard, multitasking is a myth!

When we constantly check our phones, we keep ourselves in an addictive cycle. Smartphones and apps are designed to release hormones, specifically dopamine and cortisol. Dopamine is a brain chemical that helps form habits and addictions. Cortisol is released in response to emotional stress, and is elevated when your phone is nearby.

“It’s a stress response, and it feels unpleasant, and the body’s natural response is to want to check the phone to make the stress go away,” says David Greenfield, professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction.

The good news is there are ways to break this cycle! We can take control of technology instead of the other way around. Managing digital distractions will not only improve productivity and satisfaction, but will also help us be happier and healthier.

(From J Pierson)




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