Don’t let notifications and algorithms control your life
Phone Notifications (Picture from Canva Premium Gallery)
In a time where we’re constantly bombarded with notifications, and algorithms are desperately trying to keep us engaged so big tech companies can make money off of your attention, it’s no wonder that so many of us struggle to focus. If you find yourself feeling easily distracted or unable to concentrate, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The good news is, there are things you can do to improve your concentration.
Our attention span has decreased drastically in recent years. Since algorithms that are similar to that of TikTok, show us content that we are more likely to engage with, we get used to shorter and shorter intervals of content. This desensitizes us to long-form content, whether that be a book, an article, or even a conversation.
We are also more likely to be distracted by our phones since they are designed to be addictive. The average person spends around three hours on their phone every day, and a lot of that time is spent aimlessly scrolling through social media or playing games.
How much time are you spending on your phone per day? (Picture from Canva Premium Gallery)
Big tech companies have admitted that their algorithms are designed to keep us engaged. They use things like notifications, likes, and comments to trigger our brain’s reward system so that we keep coming back for more. Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and Tiktok are perfectly designed to keep us engaged and scrolling for hours.
You think that you’re in control of your phone, but it’s actually the other way around.
Focusing for longer amounts of time has become increasingly difficult, but it’s not impossible. If you want to improve your concentration, here are a few things you can do:
Take breaks often: When you’re feeling overwhelmed or unable to focus, take a break. Get up and walk around for a few minutes, or step outside for some fresh air. Taking breaks will help you clear your head and come back to your work refreshed.
Put away your phone: This one is tough, but it’s essential. When you’re trying to focus on something, put away your phone so you’re not tempted to check it. If you need it for work, put it on silent and put it in a drawer so you’re not tempted to pick it up every time you hear a notification.
Find a comfortable place to work: Make sure you’re in a comfortable environment that promotes concentration. This means finding a quiet place with minimal distractions. If you can’t find a quiet place, try using noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs.
Set a timer: If you’re struggling to focus on a task, set a timer for a specific amount of time and work until the timer goes off. Once the timer goes off, take a break. This will help you stay focused and not get overwhelmed by the task at hand.
Break up your work: If you have a lot of work to do, break it up into smaller tasks. Work on one task for a specific amount of time, and then take a break. This will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and allow you to focus on one thing at a time.
If you are disciplined, delete social media apps: Social media is designed to be addictive, and it’s one of the biggest distractions when it comes to concentration. If you can, delete the app from your phone so you’re not tempted to check it. You will see that you have much more time on your hands without it. In the beginning, it might be hard, but you will get used to it.
Find a hobby: Having a hobby that you’re passionate about can help improve your concentration. When you’re focused on something you enjoy, it’s easier to block out distractions and stay concentrated.
Building a new routine takes time! I recommend taking baby steps when it comes to changing your habits.
Changing your routines takes time and willpower. (Picture from Canva Premium Gallery)
Start with one new thing at a time, and be patient with yourself. It takes around 21 days to form a new habit, so give yourself time to adjust. And if you find yourself struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a friend or family member.
Concentration is a skill, and like any skill, it can be learned and improved. With a little effort, you can train your brain to focus better. So next time you’re feeling easily distracted or unable to concentrate, remember these tips and give them a try. Soon enough, you’ll be able to focus like a pro!
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