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Technology and our focus

Let's see if the following is familiar to you: the alarm clock rings at 6:00 am and as soon as you wake up, you connect to WIFI and receive 85 new Whatsapp messages, 3 notifications from Instagram 2 from Facebook, 1 new email (this if you don't you have the company email configured on your mobile) and now it is only 6:02 am Has this happened to you? It does not sound like anything strange and we may not even consider it as something overwhelming since, it is what we are used to dealing since the first came out iPhone to the market in 2007.

Today, we have the need to be connected always and from different platforms: the smarthphone, the smartwatch, the laptop, the tablet and even the smart TV! It is through all these devices where do we receive all these notifications constantly. Have you noticed that receiving these notifications gives you pleasure? inclusive, how many times have you not found yourself picking up your mobile and checking if you have received a new notification? And it is that the pleasant many times can become addictive.

Recent studies by the American Psychological Association (APA) show that the attention span of Americans has decreased from 12 seconds to just 8 seconds, this attention span being shorter than that of goldfish. In this same study, 1/5 of the interviewees affirm that technology represents for them a source of stress as well as the cause of physical ailments such as neck pain, and high blood pressure, but what should we do then? Should we give up technology to get our lives back? Today, giving up entirely may be unfeasible, but we can take back control of our lives in terms of the time we spend in front of screens.

Here are some tips that even I apply to increase my concentration and decrease the time I spend using the different technologies:

  • Turn off notifications: As I mentioned before, notifications are one of the biggest causes of distractions and interruptions, which means that we are never really 100×100 focused, which is why turning off App notifications will help us reduce distractions or at least the number of times we check the mobile.
  • Make meals without the mobile: it is very common to see people eating and using mobile phones in restaurants, the issue is that we do not realize that this deteriorates the quality of our interactions with others, the more energy we dedicate to the mobile, the less time and energy we can dedicate to those who surround.
  • Reserve hours without technology: Personally, it helps me a lot to increase concentration. During work hours I reduce the use of the mobile, that is, turning it off or leaving it in my bag, this reduces my impulse to look at the screen.
  • Make your room a tech-free zone: An hour before I go to sleep, I leave my cell phone out of the room so that I can have a much calmer bedtime ritual without distractions.
  • Go back to paper: Read a book, keep a journal about your day or plan your next day before bed, these are some of my bedtime routines that allow me to relax and distract myself without looking at a screen.
  • Stay on one screen: if you are watching TV do not use the mobile or tablet, if you are using the computer stay there and do not use the mobile, if you have notifications on your mobile, do not activate them on your smartwatch, this has a lot to do with concentration and the multitasking which is quite bad for our brain since at brain it takes several minutes for him to recalibrate his attention to the task we were previously doing.

If you're still not convinced, here are other facts about people's dependence on mobile screens:

30: is the average number of days per year that women spend playing video games on their mobile phones in the UK

11: years is the average time a person will spend looking at their mobile if we reapply the trend over time of their current use.

47: is the average number of times a person picks up their mobile to check it per day.

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