Today, we millennials are living in such a digitally-advance world that almost everyone is prone to distractions. Our personal as well as professional biospheres are so dominated with internet, social media and other similar digitalized devices that we get very easily distracted and interrupted every second minute of a day. Although we have adapted this constant fragmentation of our time and concentration so easily, there are many downside to this new normal. Different studies claim that these interruptions and distractions are slowly and gradually eroding our ability to concentrate.

Here in this article our expert has jotted down all about distractions, including the causes, its effects on our personal and professional life, and some tips to put a stop to distraction. Read on…

Why does one get distracted?

Alike our mind gets attracted to something entertaining like songs, movies, soap operas, it also has a tendency to get attracted to something negative like email notification, news feeds, social media updates, crimes, gossip, health issues or financial problems. Mind may also be captured by something addictive involvements like social media, cigarettes, alcohol or even drugs. Similarly, background noise can also become a significant distraction for some people.

Added to the above list, one’s own mental or physical health issues can cause significant distractions. Headaches and stress are very common cause of low productivity. Mental health disorders like attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder, insomnia, anxiety, loss of interest in work may also affect performance. Our memory may be cluttered with impressions that are not really needed in practical life. 

What are downside effects of distractions?

Distractions can be a significant cause of low productivity in our career, while a biggest reason for disputes and disturbances in our personal life. Here’s how:

Downside of Distraction in Our Personal Life

Apart from our unavoidable work-life demands, we distracted in our personal life due to more time spent on electronics and internet than living good moments with their parents, children, spouse or other familial relationship. 

There are many moments when we are amid a delightful talk with our spouse, parent or our kids, our cell phone beeps and all stops. We utter “Just a second,” and our eyes get glued to the phone and our fingers tapping away all in unawareness of surroundings. By the time we look around, that moment of togetherness is lost. We are so much screen addicted that we end up blowing off our special moments without any realization, thus leading to conflicts and disconnection. 

If we continue to constantly being pulled away from friends and family by distractions, we miss out on cultivating the relationships we need for our psychological well-being. The result will be loneliness, despair, and depression looming in our personal life. 

Downside of Distraction in Our Work Life

Simple examples like an email notification in the middle of a project, or a text during a meeting, or noticing an interesting article on social media while scrolling in for a second, can interrupt your concentration in the work which you were trying to focus on a solo task. This break in your concentration results in distraction. 

Distractions not only cause loss of work hours, but these also cause low self-esteem. Employees may feel low energy due to distractions and may not achieve targets within the deadlines. This may result in negative feedbacks from their reporting managers. 

Students may score low in their schools. Distractions may affect their achievements. Students may not get the stream of their choice in college or university. Eventually they may end up losing opportunity in their field of interest.

Research shows that about 25% of students spend their time in distractions at school. While, on an average, 70% to 80% of people are distracted at work. The most common distractions at work are email, phone calls/texts, co-workers gossip, and the Internet surfing. The constant barrage of interruptions actually makes 34% of employees like their jobs less. 

Tips to fix distractions

Employers can help bring down distractions by reducing the noise in office. Also, negative gossip and news can be reduced. Frequently changing the layout of office can help overcome the fixed patterns of mind. Giving reward to productive employees can also help. Employers can make extra effort to find reason of low productivity and try to fix it. Employees can use headphones to lower the distractions. Adults need to handle and control their urges that distract them.

Students can be helped by making the studies more playful and interesting. Interaction between teacher and student is a better way of teaching as it keeps the students involved in discussion. It is important for students to be aware of the consequences of their actions or inactions. They should snack on something healthy and have enough time for extra-curricular activities.

If lack of concentrations and frequent distraction is getting in the way of your work and personal life, please consult a doctor for medicinal or psychotherapeutic options. Book an online consultation now!

About the Author

Vaishalee Punj

Dr. Vaishalee Punj is a medical teacher who has experience in clinical medicine for more than 8 years. Her field of interest is rational drug use, drug toxicities, drug interactions and its potential uses. She is here to improve medical care through safe and effective use of medicines.

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