According to Daniel Goleman’s book, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, due to our obsession with multitasking, the internet, social media and cell phones, we’re losing our ability to concentrate. When we constantly check our email, read tweets, or play an online game, we get a jolt of adrenaline. It feels good every time we do and it lights up our brain’s reward circuits. We can’t stay focused on one thing too long or we get itchy for another rush. But it also undermines the ability to focus for any length of time.
Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence also says that the good news is that within a short time of slowing down and not jumping from one thing to another, we regain the ability to pay attention. Our focus and concentration improves within a couple of weeks. When we run from one activity to another, we train ourselves to do more of it. We’re training ourselves to be ADD. But the same is true when we let go of the obsessive need for stimulation. As we break the addiction, we train our minds to focus for longer periods of time.
To accomplish more, reduce stress, and be calmer, we need to reduce the number of times we check our email or cell phone. Within a couple of weeks, notice the difference. We’ll get more done, be healthier, feel better and be able to focus on a chess game or reading a book.
~ Linda-Ann Stewart