By: Meaghan Franchi – S@Y News
Being distracted can lead to errors. Distracted driving can cause fatalities and being distracted at a job can lead to life threatening injuries. Being distracted at school can lead to bad grades and possibly having to redo a semester.
In 2016 distracted driving made up 21 % of all fatal collisions and 27 % of all serious injury collisions on the road.
Taking your eyes and attention away from the road increases your chances of a collision and being diverted for even a split second could change your life forever.
Staying focused is crucial. Not just behind the wheel, but at school and at work also.
In this video, I’m going to give you 4 TIPS on how to stay more focused.
Firstly though, let’s start by talking about the things that distract us the most. It’s true that we live in a way more distracted world than we used to.
Everything is digitized and communication is way easier and way more accessible than it has ever been. But sometimes we need to disconnect to reconnect, if you know what I mean.
Here’s a chart of the main ways people get distracted.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, oh wait, it’s a notification.
Games and apps are constantly asking for our attention and social media sites such as TikTok, YouTube and Facebook can distract us for hours. I admit, it’s difficult to stay away from these sites as they have become so much a part of our culture and the way that we communicate. But if you want to ensure that you succeed you might just have to put the phone down for a bit or at least turn your ringer off.
Friends and family can be distracting too. Wanting you to go out when you need to study and calling and wanting to chat for hours when you need to focus on getting something done.
We spend a lot of our time connecting to things that not only divert us from our goals but that also drain our energy and make it difficult for us to focus.
Our attention spans over the years have gone down from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. Which may not seem like a lot, but a goldfish’s attention span is better than a human’s right now. Yep, that’s right we are less engaged than the goldfish are. Gulp, gulp!!! LOL
However, here are some ways to stay focused and become more productive and more successful overall.
4 TIPS ON HOW TO STAY FOCUSED
LEAVE YOUR PHONE ALONE for a bit!! Or at least turn down your notifications volume.
Being consistently dinged by apps and text messages while you are in the middle of something can shift your attention away from what you are doing. Also, it takes time to refocus your attention after it’s been diverted. So, turn your phone off or at least turn your notifications off while your doing things like studying, driving and working. It’ll help you concentrate better when you’re not constantly checking your phone for updates, and you’ll be more engaged in what you’re doing. You can look at your phone later. I promise.
MAKE A LIST OF THINGS TO DO
To help with focusing on projects and things you want to accomplish write out a task list. Prioritize your list and check off the tasks that you finish as you go along. A list will help you keep track of the things you’ve already done and help keep you motivated to do more. It also helps with things you may otherwise forget to do. If it’s written down, it’ll be hard to miss. So, to help you stay on your targets, write them down.
TAKE A BREAK
Now this one might seem counter-productive, but it does help. If you’ve been working on something for hours, it may be time to take a break and walk away for a bit to reenergize and refresh your thoughts. Work can be draining and renewing your energy will help you stay more focused and will better equip you to handle your tasks when you return.
A good tool to use is the Pomodoro technique.
Plus, while you’re on a break you may come up with an ingenious way to better or to fix whatever it is you’re working on. However, and this is the important part, when you do break make sure they are timed breaks, and you get back to work after your time is up. Stretch your legs, get some fresh air, but most importantly after your break time is done get back to work.
Everyone knows that being “hangry” (a combination of hungry and angry) can make a person incredibly impatient and being hangry when you’re trying to get something done can be a huge distraction. It’s hard to work while your stomach is growling louder than your thoughts. So, when you find yourself getting hungry while you’re working, eat something. Grab an apple or a banana or make yourself a full meal. But whatever you choose make sure its healthy and satisfies your hunger enough to keep you going.
In closing, being distracted is something we face every day but by being prepared, eating healthy and turning our phone volumes down while we’re working can significantly increase our chances of success, in and out of school.