Impacts of Distractions
Now more than ever, people are highly distracted.
Here are 7 signs that indicate reaching peak distraction:
1) Struggling to follow through or complete a task, deadline, or reach a goal.
2) Drifting to social media in the middle of attempting to work on a task.
3) Starring at the screen and having no idea where to start.
4) Difficulty completing sentences.
5) Short memory isn’t as good as it normally is.
6) Becoming easily agitated, flustered, or overwhelmed.
7) Interrupting others in conversation.
Distractions are so seductive because the brain craves constant stimulation and immediate gratification. This can be a killer to it all as it keeps people from being able to stay focused on one task at a time and unable to complete the work at hand. Not to mention, we live in a world where it is nearly impossible not to become distracted. There is constant noise in the background, social media at our fingertips, new emails that never stop flooding our inboxes, and phones that alert us all day with new notifications.
We’ve been conditioned to believe multitasking is heroic and most of us have gone years claiming our ability to do so as a victory, however, the basics of neuroscience tell us multitasking is actually a false idea, it’s not possible for the brain. When we’re focused, both the left and right sides of the prefrontal cortex work in tandem, whereas, when we multitask, the left and right sides of the prefrontal cortex attempt to work independently, and although it feels like we’re doing multiple things at once, we’re actually switching between both sides and this switch takes a fraction of a second. Sounds like no big deal, but microseconds add up and take away time – the thing we can never get back.
Recent data shows people are becoming addicted to distractions as evidenced by the compulsive pull that takes people off track with their responsibilities. Countless hours are wasted because of this and it’s an obvious barrier to one’s ability to stay focused. Data also shows social media platforms drive surges of dopamine to the brain, which keeps consumers coming back over and over again. Social media is only one distraction people face, however, one of the biggest. Endless access to new information overloads our working memory and because of this, the focus is becoming extinct.
Stephanie Robilio, LCSW
Chief Clinical Officer at Agape Behavioral Healthcare
To learn more about Stephanie visit www.stephanierobilio.com and follow her on Instagram @stephanierobilio, Facebook @stephanierobilio, and subscribe to her on YouTube Stephanie Robilio. Find all of Stephanie’s books on Amazon: WellNow, Mindful Makeover, Painted Soul, and Bonafide Spirit. To join real conversations about what it takes to achieve optimal wellness in mind, body, and spirit, check out The Mindful Living Podcast on Spotify.