Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver

Read On: How to focus in an unfocused world

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Read-On-Word-Search-May-2019

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BY TONY WANLESS

Distraction, or the inability to focus for more than very short times, has become common in the high speed, technological world of today.

Today, we are bombarded by so much mental stimulation, we find it very difficult to concentrate on anything for very long.

There are noises and other attention-robbing distractions everywhere. Music, traffic, conversations and especially smart phones, which everyone now seems to be constantly holding to their ears, eyes or mouths, routinely rattle our focus.

Today, a growing number of us are becoming worried about what seems to be our loss of attention. With all this stimulation to our brains, our ability to concentrate has been reduced to a few seconds or minutes.

The medical term for this problem is Ego Depletion. But we likely call it something like mental fuzziness or tiredness. Some people may even worry that their brains are damaged.

But there are strategies to counter this problem. Many are old and existed long before technology was everywhere and overwhelmed our thinking processes. But they are now being revived to helping us cope with this new world.

No doubt we will eventually learn how to adapt to this new world. But until then, we might want to think about using the old techniques.

These include:
1. Writing things down so we can refer to them later.
2. Using To-Do and other lists.
3. Doing tasks in bite-sized pieces.
4. Taking many time-outs when learning or working.
5. Focusing on chunks of information instead of a steady stream.
6. Switching to other tasks, which allows the mind to rest.
7. Napping, meditating and other quieting actions.
8. And, of course, using your phone less.

Definitions

bombard: attack (a place or person) continuously with bombs, shells or other missiles.
routinely: as part of a regular procedure rather than for a special reason.
depletion: reduction in the number or quantity of something.
cope: deal effectively with something difficult.

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