Focus: The Antidote to Multitasking

distract-drivingHow long can you go without checking your smart phone? Two minutes? Maybe five tops?

I’m amazed I can even focus long enough to dress myself in the morning, let alone function throughout the day given the number of distractions that occur.

Research points to the detrimental effects of multitasking–your IQ can decrease 10 points when you’re distracted by an incoming call or email. What’s worse, most of us lose more than two hours a day due to distractions and let’s not forget that driving while using your phone is like having a blood alcohol level of .08%. (Typically two drinks.)

By focusing for a few seconds on one thing and moving to the next, our fight or flight instincts kick in and we’re essentially operating for our entire day on adrenaline and dopamine.

This, in turn, increases hormone levels, decreases our ability to process fat, and adds to our risk for heart disease, stroke, or other stress-related illnesses.

The world isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Take one of my new favorite social media sites Vine (which you can see in the clip above) which lets you film a six-second looping video clip. If You Tube videos are too long, this six-second increment is perfect. Look! I can speed my entire morning practice up into a short six seconds. It’s really quite addicting.

Because my job requires me to use social media daily, these distractions aren’t going away for me anytime soon. Between six-second videos, tweets, email, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook, and multi-tasking among these sites, how often do we stop the brain’s churning to really focus on one thing?

Continue reading