Every day, we are exposed to an incessant bombardment of information and requests via social media, e-mail, texts, etc. Preserving one’s focus by fighting against digital distraction has become a necessity.
“How did we let our smartphone get so far into our privacy?” asked journalist Cécile Mordant. Faced with digital distractions, many of us see our ability to concentrate declining. A 2017 study by the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas found that even a smartphone in silent mode can be distracting if it is next to its owner. According to the authors of the study, it’s not the notifications that disturb users but rather the fact that their brains have to fight against the urge to use the telephone. The survey of 800 smartphone owners showed that those who keep it on their desks have lower concentration capacities than those who put it in a drawer, which are themselves more distracted than those who leave it in another room. So should you stay away from your phone to fight against digital distraction? According to Jean-Philippe Lachaux, research director at Inserm in Lyon, the solution to regain control on the screens rests on an education of attention. In particular, he suggests that we “learn to know our attention, how it works and its limits, to better tame it and take better care of it.”
Tools to fight against digital distraction
Did you know that there are tools available to help you better manage your time and maintain optimal productivity? Among them is Freedom, a mobile software and application that blocks anything that threatens your concentration during a defined time slot. SMS, websites, applications… it is up to each user to select the digital distractions that are most harmful to his/her attention. In the same register, there is FocusMe or the AntiSocial app, which lets users know the time that one devotes daily to his telephone and thus take necessary measures by blocking apps that one tends to open in a compulsive way.
Finally, “Adblockers”, or ad blockers, can also present interesting solutions for staying focused when the work you do requires extensive research on the Internet.
Digital entertainment: time to change your habits
According to a survey conducted by Wrike, 44% of professionals say they consult their mobile devices more than 20 times a day! It’s hard to hope for optimal productivity in these conditions, especially when you know the harms of multitasking! To fight against technological dependence, Lionel Valdellon of the Wrike blog gave several tips to his readers. First, he suggests replacing a bad digital habit with a “healthier” habit, every day for a month. He also advises learning how to set limits, allowing yourself moments without technology and reducing the list of applications and extensions you use. Finally, he encourages his readers to play sports so that their brains release dopamine and they are less vulnerable to the risks of digital addiction. Indeed, more and more research tends to show that social networks have an effect close to certain addictive substances on our brain. In 2017, the National Institute on Drug Abuse wondered whether the decline in alcohol and hard drug use among young people was not directly linked to the massive use of smartphones and tablets!
In conclusion, to stay focused in the face of digital distractions, you must be prepared to review your habits and change your relationship you have with your smartphone or computer. While these tools provide ever faster access to more information every day, they can also threaten some of our cognitive abilities. Therefore, it is up to each user to remain vigilant and maintain productivity by adopting better time management. On this subject, we would highly recommend reading our white paper on the subject: 4 tips for a better time management and efficiency.
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