A few years ago, i started to watch something in my own behavior that made me a touch uncomfortable. And that was that from the instant that I awakened to the top of the day, my life was a series of screens.
I started the day with the thing that woke me up first thing within the morning. my phone. and so I sat there in bed watching various cooking videos on Instagram and jumping around between a bunch of various applications.
On the other hand it had been time to urge out of bed and cook breakfast, and so the thing that I focused then on, additionally to the omelette within the pan, was the iPad that was right next to the oven, then it had been time to try some work, then I visited a special screen which was attached to a different screen itself.
All the while, this tiny devil on my wrist was tapping and beeping and blooping and distracting me as i used to be trying to urge important stuff done.
But there was one particular offender out of all of these different devices that I wasted longer on than anything .
That was this dastardly thing: my phone. I could spend hours on this thing every single day.
Then i made a decision to essentially, for all intents and purposes, get obviate the thing for a month. As an experiment, I thought, “I’m getting to live on this thing for just half-hour every single day at a maximum.” And so this is often the quantity of your time I even have for maps, this is often the quantity of your time to call my mother, this is the quantity of your time I even have for everything that I could possibly to concentrate with music, podcasts.
And that i observed what happened during this point .
It took a many week to adjust downward into a replacement , lower level of stimulation, but once I did, I noticed that a lot of curious things began to happen.
” My attention span grew “
It was like I could specialise in things, not effortlessly, but with far more ease than I could before this experiment started.
Additionally to the present , though, as i used to be going about the planet and especially when my mind wandered a touch , I had more ideas that my mind received, and on top of this, I had more plans, ideas and thoughts about the longer term . Getting obviate one simple device led to those many effects.
How does technology influence our attention and our ability to focus ?
I want to start out with the attention spans that we’ve ,this is how we concentrate to the planet around us and the way much control we’ve over our focus.
The research around this particular area fascinating, it seems that once we work ahead of a computer,especially when our phone is nearby, we Focus in one thing for just 40 seconds before we switch to doing something else,and once we have things like Slack open as we’re performing some work, this lowers to 35 seconds.
But the cause of that this is often the case isn’t what we’d think,after watching the research. We think the matter is that our brains are distracted.
this is what I’ve come to understand as a symbol for the deeper problem,which runs far more deeply – it is the root explanation for this distraction. It’s not that we’re distracted; it’s that our brains are overstimulated,it’s that we crave distraction within the first place.
Our brains love these tiny little nuggets of data and social media and email and these things that we do over the course of the day.
there’s even a mechanism in our mind called the “novelty bias”.
By which our mind rewards us with successful of dopamine,one of those wonderful pleasure chemicals, the same one we get once we eat and order an entire medium pizza, you know, an equivalent one that we get when we roll in the hay , we get that very same stimulation once we check Facebook, we get this dopamine coursing through our mind. And so we not only crave distraction,but our mind rewards us for seeking out and finding distraction within the first place.
So, this is often the state of our minds today, we’re at this hyperstimulated state where we bounce around between these bunch of various objects of attention that are very, very stimulating for our mind. And so i assumed , “Okay, if the phone had this impact on my span , what if I lowered ?
how stimulated i used to be even more, still?”
And so, you know, this sense that we experience once we go from being during a state of high stimulation into a state of low stimulation,it has a reputation . that name is named “boredom”
So attempt to make yourself bored for an hour each day , for a month.
But curiously,I noticed the precise same effects as I did during the smartphone experiment.
It took a few week for my mind to regulate downward into a more moderen , lower level of stimulation, and this maps, curiously, on top of research that shows that it takes our mind about eight days to fully settle down and rest,like when we’re on vacation, as an example.
Our vacations got to be longer than they’re today. But I also noticed that my attention span expanded. I was ready to focus even more effortlessly because I wasn’t surrounded by fewer distractions,but my mind was such a lot less stimulated that, it did not seek the distraction within the first place.
But the fun part were these ideas and plans that struck me that did not before,and the reason that this is the case is because my mind had an opportunity to wander more often.
There’s a great quote that i really like that you simply could be conversant in from J. R. R. Tolkien, where he says that
“not all those who wander are lost,”
And the precise same thing is true, it seems , with regard to our focus,with reference to our attention.
If you think that back to when your best, most brilliant ideas strike you,you’re rarely focused on something. Maybe this morning you were taking a shower,or maybe some morning before, then your mind had an opportunity to attach several of the constellations of ideas that were swirling around in your mind to make a thought that might never have materialized otherwise if you were focused on something else,on your phone, for instance .
This is a mode,especially once we do that deliberately, once we deliberately let our mind wander; this mode call .
And the research shows that it lets our mind come up with ideas, it lets our mind plan due to where our mind wanders to. This is fascinating.
It seems that once we just let our attention rest,it goes to 3 main places:
1- we expect about the past.
2- we expect about the present .
3- we expect about the the future .
But we imagine about the past fewer than we might think,only about 12% of the time,and often we’re recalling ideas in these thought-wandering episodes.
But this , which may be a far more productive place to wander -we wander to believe the present 28% of the time. And this is often , you know, something as simple as you’re typing up an email and you cannot find how to phrase something because it’s extremely delicate, maybe it’s political,you go and walk to a different room of the house, the office,and the solution hits you because your mind had an opportunity to approach it and poke at that problem from various directions.
But here’s the thing:
Our minds wander to believe the longer term quite the past and therefore the present combined. Whenever our mind is wandering, we expect about the future 48% of the time.
This is why when we’re making a shower, we prepare out our full day,Despite it hasn’t began yet. This is called our mind’s prospective bias,and it occurs when our mind wanders.
If you’re good with math,these numbers don’t add up to 100.
It’s because the remainder of the time, our mind is dull, it’s blank,or it doesn’t have a thought inside of it that’s rooted in time.
But whatever it’s for you that lets your mind wander,something that’s simple,something that doesn’t consume your full attention.
Do Everything you Love , it helps calm you down, it helps settle your nerves,and you come up with so many new ideas when you do it.
image past present future
” Hustling “
You know, there’s all this talk about “hustling.”, most of us are an anti-hustler. We don’t got to fit more in; we’re doing enough; we’re doing too much; we’re doing such a lot that our mind never wanders anymore. It’s sad. This is when our greatest ideas and plans come to us, we need more Vast Space .
we wish to consider distraction because the enemy of focus. It is not.
It is a symbol of why we discover it difficult to focus, which is that the incontrovertible fact that our mind is overstimulated.
I have a challenge for you. It’s a two-week challenge, but it is a challenge to form your mind a touch less stimulated And easily notice:
what happens to your attention?
How many ideas do you get?
How does your focus change?
How many plans do you make?
So, for 2 weeks, make your mind less stimulated. There are numerous great features on phones, on devices that’ll allow us to eliminate tons of the time we waste on our devices. Use those features, not only to become conscious of how you spend some time but how you’ll spend less so you’ve got more ideas.
” disconnection ritual “
Have a disconnection ritual every evening. Have a daily rituals:
Disconnect from the web completely for Four hours from your choose.
So we will disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with the physical world, the real, actual world.
Rediscover boredom – you do not need to roll it for an hour.
But rediscover boredom, only for a couple of minutes, And scatter your attention. You’ll find some remarkably fruitful things therein attentional zone.
If there’s one thing that I even have found to be true after doing this deep dive into this world on how we focus,it’s that the state of our attention is what determines the state of our lives.
If we’re distracted in each moment,those moments of distraction and overstimulation build up and accumulate to make a life that feels more distracted and overwhelming,like we do not have a transparent direction.
But once we subsided stimulated, once we make our mind more calm,we get the advantages of added productivity and focus and concepts and creativity, but we also live a far better life due to it.