A few years back, I began to observe that something in my own behavior that made me a bit uncomfortable, I woke up in the morning until the end of the day. My life was a series of screens. I started the day with the thing that woke me up first thing in the morning and I feel that I lost my uniqueness. My phone and so I sat there in bed watching various cooking videos on Instagram and bouncing around between a bunch of different applications. But then it was time to get out of bed and cook breakfast and so the thing that I focused then on in addition to the omelet in the pan was the iPad that was right next to the oven and then it was time to do some work. I went to a different screen which was attached to another screen itself, all the while this little devil on my wrist was tapping and beeping and blooping and distracting me as I was trying to get important stuff done but there was one particular offender out of all of these different devices that I wasted more time. I could spend hours on this thing every single day and so I decided to essentially for all intents and purposes get rid of the thing for a month as an experiment, I thought I’m gonna live on this thing for just 30 minutes every single day and will look to nature. I could possibly want to do to listen to music to listen to podcasts and I observed what happened during this time, it took about a week to adjust downward into a new lower level of stimulation. But once I did, I noticed that three curious things began to happen. first, my attention span grew it was like I could focus on things not effortlessly but with much more ease than I could before. I was going about the world and especially when my mind wandered a bit I had more ideas that my mind arrived at and on top of this, I had more plans and thoughts about the future getting rid of one simple device.
I don’t know if you’ve ever watched one of those crime shows where somebody’s solving a murder. I flew out to meet experts around the world who study focus I conducted more experiments on myself and tell the point. I had 25,000 words of research notes about why this is the case how does technology influence our attention! Our ability to focus, I want to start with the attention spans that we have this is how we pay attention to the world around us and how much control we have over our focus? The research around this particular area is fascinating, it turns out that when we to work in front of a computer especially when our phone is nearby. We focus on one thing for just 40 seconds before we switch to doing something.
We focus on one thing for just 40 seconds before we switch to doing something else.
we’re in the hyper-stimulated state.
Calmness will settle your nerves with so many ideas!
We might think after looking at the research, we think the problem is that our brains are distracted but after looking at the research this is what I’ve come to know. When we eat and order a whole medium pizza from domino that you know the same one that we get when we make love, we get that same stimulation when we check Facebook, we get this dopamine coursing through our mind. Our mind rewards us for seeking out and finding distraction in the first place so this is the state of our minds today we’re at this hyper-stimulated state. where we bounce around between these bunch of different objects of attention. When we have this super busy week and then we’re lying on the couch on a Sunday afternoon thinking what am I doing? so I challenged I put out a call to the readers what is the most boring thing that you can think of doing? Experiment it took about a week for my mind to adjust downward into a newer lower level of stimulation.
Maybe some morning in the past and then your mind had a chance to connect several of the constellations of ideas that were swirling around in your mind to create an idea that would never have materialized. I call this mode to scatter focus and the research shows that it lets our mind come up with ideas.
I love to knit, knitting is one of my favorite hobbies. I knit in planes, I knit trains, I knit in hotel rooms, I was knitting in the hotel room before this event today cuz it helps calm you down. It helped settle your nerves and I come up with so many ideas. Ideas that are circulating and it’ll make you more creative in this way it could be something as simple as waiting in line and just waiting in line it could be getting a massage and whatever it is that lets your mind. Think of distraction as the enemy of focus. Become aware of how you spend your time but how you can spend less so you have more ideas. 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 create a life that feels more distracted and overwhelming like. When we make our mind calmer, we get the benefits of the added productivity and focus ideas and creativity. The state of our attention will determine the state of our lives.
Courtesy: Chris Bailey, TEDx Manchester
The outcome of newly research is clear: the state of our attention determines the state of our lives. We need to do focus attention, deeper feeling for a peaceful creative outcome. Less stimulation,more space and find more wander!