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Why being constantly distracted is making you miserable and how to fix it

https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/9/4/20837248/hyperfocus-book-attention-productivity-distraction

vox.com

Why being constantly distracted is making you miserable and how to fix it
This story is part of a group of stories called In general, I find any advice on how to be more productive both insulting and somewhat morally repugnant, as though every message we've received in late 20th and early 21st century American society isn't already about how to squeeze as much monetizable output in as little time as possible from every single living person.

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Accepting boredom

Accepting boredom

Learning to live with more boredom makes it easier for you to really feel present in every aspect of your life: work, relationships, and whatever else you want to do with your time that doesn't involve mindless scrolling on social media.

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How you define "productivity"

The way we define the concept of "productivity" really influences our perception.

For a lot of people, this word suggests something cold and corporate, that speaks about efficiency and becoming a robot.

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The best productivity advice

It has to do with focus and allows us to accomplish everything we want to do in a smaller amount of time, so we have more time for what’s actually meaningful to us.

Because being able to focus on things, we see more meaning in them.

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Hyperfocus vs scatterfocus

  • Hyperfocus: it means directing your attention outward. It's the most productive mode of our mind, when one task fills our full attention.
  • Scatterfocus: it means directing your attention inward. It's the most creative mode of our mind, when we deliberately let our mind wander.

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We’re wired for distraction

We’re wired for distraction

So we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves.

There’s a mechanism embedded within our mind’s prefrontal cortex called the novelty bias, whereby, for every new, novel thing we direct our attention at, our mind rewards us with a hit of dopamine

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Being intentional

Being intentional

We’re perfectly productive when we accomplish what we intend to do.

An intention for a day could be to write a few pages. And if we accomplish that, we’re perfectly productive. An intention for a day could also be to watch five episodes of a TV show and just relax. If we accomplish that, then we’re perfectly productive then as well.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The 21st-Century Syndrome

The 21st-Century Syndrome

This ‘21st-century Syndrome’ is due to two factors:

  1. An overabundance of dopamine-inducing options is taking its toll on our minds, making it difficult to relax.

Distractions Can Be Useful

The brain needs time and space to process information. The breaks we take during work, like talking to a colleague at the watercooler provides a ‘downtime’ and helps process information.

This takes the shape of distractions when we are at home. You could even be problem-solving while quietly doing the laundry at home, as your brain processes the events and information in the background.

Unshared Fears Lead Us Into Distraction

Our feelings, emotions and fears remain largely unshared at home, when we are trying to do many things at once, fighting countless battles single-handedly to balance everything.

Not having someone to talk to gets us into distractions, and when we force ourselves to not indulge, it makes us want to do it more.

one more idea

Reading in the digital age

Online life makes us into a new kind of reader: Our attention fractures. Online reading is about clicks, and comments, and points. 

The opposite of the traditional reading ex...

Not every emotion can be reduced to an emoji, and not every thought can be conveyed via tweet.

Not every emotion can be reduced to an emoji, and not every thought can be conveyed via tweet.

Cynical Readers

We have become cynical readers – we read in the disjointed, goal-oriented way that online life encourages & we stop exercising our attention. 

We read just as much if not more. We live in a text-gorged society in which the most fleeting thought is a thumb-dash away from posterity. It's how we read that changed.

The Importance Of Boredom

It drives us to engage in activities that we find more meaningful than those at hand. Without it, we’d be perpetually excited by everything.

Research shows that people who are bored...

Focus And The Brain

When we’re consciously doing things we’re using the “executive attention network, ” the parts of the brain that control and inhibit our attention. The attention network makes it possible for us to relate directly to the world presently around us.

By contrast, when our minds wander, we activate the brain’s “default mode network, ” which is the brain “at rest”; not focused on an external, goal-oriented task. In this mode, we still tap about 95% of the energy we use when our brains are engaged in focused thinking. 

Types Of Daydreaming

  • Poor attention control: when people with poor attention control drift into daydreaming. These people are anxious, easily distracted, and have difficulty concentrating, even on their daydreams.
  • Guilty-dysphoric: when our thoughts drift to unproductive and negative places. We berate ourselves for perceived mistakes or flaws and feel emotions like guilt, anxiety, and anger.
  • Positive-constructive: when our thoughts veer toward the imaginative; it reflects our drive to explore ideas and feelings, plan, and problem-solve.