Do You Suffer from ‘Distraction Disease?’ How to Leverage Your Brain Function to Focus Longer
Ever sit down to work or study at the end of the day … and then an hour goes by and you’ve barely begun your task?
Believe it or not, you’re far from alone.
The American Psychological Association reports that the willpower to stay on any given task is a limited resource. Much like a muscle that has been in use all day, the strength of your willpower declines the more often you have to tap into it. That means you’re more likely to give in to distractions that are competing for your attention after your willpower has been depleted for the day.
However, knowing how your brain handles willpower means that you can actually “trick” yourself to focus.
Here are some things to think about.
You don’t have to forego social media, just do it later
It might seem harmless to give yourself 5-10 minutes to see what your friends are up to on social media before you crack the books. The problem is that those couple of minutes often turn into big chunks of time.
So if you’re tempted to check in with pals or surf the ‘Net before you dive into studying, try to resist. Taking advantage of your brain’s most-focused time will allow you to make some headway with your schoolwork.
Make it harder to give in to temptation
Silence your mobile device – and put it someplace where you can’t easily access it – during your dedicated study time.
If you have to work on a computer that has Internet access, use apps like Rescuetime, SelfControlapp, or StayFocused, among many others, to block or limit access to distracting websites.
Let the clock rule your work
While there are more than enough apps and websites dedicated to helping you stay focused, don’t overlook the tried-and-true calendar approach.
Whether you use a mobile app or a paper notebook, try to schedule times to complete different tasks – and then stick to them.
Key to success: Be sure to note actual times for different tasks rather than just making a to-do list. You’ll be less likely to break an “appointment” that will throw off your whole day.
Get a running start
And yes, getting started is often the hardest part of any task. If you find yourself resisting at the beginning of a study period, bargain with yourself. Agree (yes, with yourself) that you’ll study for 10 minutes (set a timer) and then you can take a break if you need one. More likely than not, you’ll get some momentum going and will work past the timer.
Don’t forget, if you ever need extra help with your studies in Salter’s professional medical assistant, medical billing and coding, massage therapist, or pharmacy technician training programs, our instructors are happy to help.