TO­TAL IM­MER­SION

De­velop laser-like fo­cus so solv­ing any prob­lem be­comes a breeze.

Men's Health (Australia) - - Contents -

AL­LOW US to al­lay what we imag­ine is your key con­cern first: un­less you’re also ex­pe­ri­enc­ing symp­toms such as short-term mem­ory loss, dis­ori­en­ta­tion and prob­lems with lan­guage, this is highly un­likely to be a sign of early-on­set de­men­tia. So, pre­sum­ing your is­sue amounts to lit­tle more than gen­eral ab­sent-mind­ed­ness, let’s ex­plore a lit­tle deeper. First, don’t fall for the myth that your smart­phone bears the blame for your fal­ter­ing fo­cus: “Tech­nol­ogy is of­ten por­trayed as the bad guy, but I’ve come across no re­search to sug­gest our abil­ity to pay at­ten­tion is on the de­cline,” says psy­chol­o­gist Dr Gemma Briggs. “But how we ap­ply our at­ten­tion may well be chang­ing.” For ex­am­ple, so­cial me­dia and push no­ti­fi­ca­tions may have trained you to ab­sorb and share a large vol­ume of in­for­ma­tion quickly, but dis­in­clined you to­ward im­mers­ing your­self in a four-hour re­search job. “We tend to over­es­ti­mate how well we can mul­ti­task,” says Briggs. “It’s not that we’re more eas­ily dis­tracted, but rather that we al­low our­selves to be­come sur­rounded by an in­creas­ing num­ber of dis­trac­tions.” Stress and anx­i­ety also ham­per con­cen­tra­tion, so you can start by ask­ing what else might be tak­ing up men­tal band­width. Of course, the the­ory is scant help when you’re up against dead­lines and an im­pa­tient boss. (Still with us, BW? Good.) When you’ve no choice but to knuckle down, try one of the fol­low­ing (right).

Drown­ing in data? Let’s re­cap­ture your at­ten­tion

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