Surrounded by so much technology, many people these days suffer from Technological ADD: the inability to focus on one task because you are busy doing things like updating your Facebook wall, checking your email, texting, and the like. You think, "this report will only take a few minutes, so I'll go see what's on sale at Zappos.com and then I'll start on it." Before you know it, half your day is gone and all you have to show for it is a higher credit card bill.
Why are humans so sooner to the "technology trap" and what can we do about it?
According to Dr. David Greenfield, a psychologist who specializes in internet addiction, we are adding to checking email and social networking websites primarily because it stimulates the part of the brain that releases dopamine when we feel "rewarded." Things like email and networking sites reward us unpredictably, meaning most of the time they give us nothing exciting, but every time in a while, we get something that really gives us a charge-a coupon, or a friend request, for example. And that's enough to keep us coming back.
So, how do you accept with this? Is it really an addiction? No, not really. (Well, for some people it may be.) But most people simply need to learn better skills for managing tasks and time.
The multi-tasking myth
The first step is to realize that there is really no such thing as multi-tasking. When you multi-task, you may feel that you are accomplishing more; however, the truth is it actually takes longer to accomplish things because your brain loses the connection to important information when you leave a task and try to return to it later. According to Dr. David Meyer, a cognitive scientist at the University of Michigan, "no matter how good you have become at multitasking, you're still going to suffer hits against your performance. on the task. "
Practice makes perfect
The best way to focus on managing and completing tasks better is to practice doing it. Practice ignoring distractions. When you have the urge to check your Facebook wall, tell yourself "no" and force yourself to continue working. Just like anything, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Assess your roadblocks
Very busy people (and who is not these days?) May often feel overwhelmed with all the tasks on their plate. When this happens, it is not uncommon to use the guise of multitasking to make you feel like you're getting things done, even if you know deep down you really are not. It's as if you are saying, "But look how busy I am-I must be accomplishing something!" If you feel this way, David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, suggests that the source of frustration often comes from a lack of information; in other words, you put something off because you are not exactly sure what it is you're supposed to be doing-perhaps you need more information, or you're not sure what the next step is to take.
He suggests conducting what's called a "mind sweep" -writing down all the things on your mind right now, no matter how small or silly, and asking yourself "what do I need to do now?" for each item. In other words, rather than getting thought up thinking about all the tasks on your plate, ask yourself "what can I do next?" Take it one step at a time. So, logout of that email and keep your focus on the job at hand-and the longer long-term reward that comes from being able to say "job well done"!