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Distracted? This Might Be Why . . . March 13, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Less IS More, Meditation, Mindfulness.

Are finding it harder to stay focused on one thing at a time?

This could be why:

Your Smartphone Might Be Dumbing Down Your Brain!

Every time you switch tasks, your brain needs a moment or two to find its bearings. And the more you engage in rapid task-shuffling, the harder it becomes for you to ignore distractions and stay focused, he says. That could be because media multitasking may weaken your brain’s anterior cingulate cortex, a region involved in high-level information and emotion processing, according to research from University College London.

Your brain may also suffer from a lack of downtime—those small breaks, like waiting in line at the grocery store, when we all used to daydream instead of staring at our phones.

Want to counter-balance the impact technology may be having on your ability to concentrate?

Check out this article:

Brain Health: Stay Focused & Eliminate Distractions (Time)

Aah . . . that’s better!



1. Kate Crimmins - March 13, 2017

Slower transitions!

nrhatch - March 13, 2017

And reflexes!

2. Ally Bean - March 13, 2017

I have no doubt that staring at screens of any sort trains you to accept distractions. Fortunately I’m a good daydreamer, so I tend to be able to focus on an idea and hang onto it like a dog with a bone. Makes me seem spacey at times, but my brain’s still clicking along so I’m happy.

nrhatch - March 13, 2017


I’m good at concentrating and ignoring distractions . . . as long as I’m well rested.

3. Jill Weatherholt - March 13, 2017

I think you already know my thoughts on the Smartphone, Nancy. 🙂

nrhatch - March 13, 2017

I do . . . you and I are on the same “screen.”

4. L. Marie - March 13, 2017

Sigh. Sad but true. It’s information overload. I’ve definitely been guilty of this. Even five minutes away from the media saturation can work wonders.

nrhatch - March 13, 2017

It’s wonderful to go “off line” for a time ~ a pause and refresh for our hard working brains.

5. Val Boyko - March 13, 2017

Love this! Its counter to our culture, but so important for our well being to slow down. Human bodies and brains were not designed to cope with all this stimulus.

nrhatch - March 13, 2017

Agreed. I can tell when I’m feeling pulled and tugged in too many directions at once ~> I start shutting down the distractions so I can do ONE thing at a time.

6. anotherday2paradise - March 13, 2017

Today, I realised I was spending too much time keeping up with my iPhone notifications, so I decided to play my piano for an hour. That felt much better. 🙂

nrhatch - March 13, 2017

Yes! Playing the piano is just the thing for info overload. The perfect antidote!

7. philosophermouseofthehedge - March 13, 2017

Unplug and run…outside! For your – and everyone’s good.

nrhatch - March 13, 2017

Absolutely! Nature, Exercise, and Meditation are 3 great ways to counter-act the info overload.

8. colonialist - March 13, 2017

I am getting so that I succumb to distractions from the distractions!
I also suffer from side-track-tions. After the third or fourth, one tends to forget the original task entirely.

nrhatch - March 13, 2017

We are bombarded with distractions at an increasing velocity due to our multi-tasking mindset.

We alone can put on the brakes! Even if we’re in a sidecar. 😀

colonialist - March 13, 2017

An uncle of mine adapted a sidecar so that the controls were all there, as protection against UK cold. It caused some consternation. Way to go, though?

nrhatch - March 13, 2017

That would be a sight to see ~> very distracting. 😀

9. Behind the Story - March 13, 2017

I liked the second point about downtime and small breaks. Using every extra minute to scroll through your cell phone or listen to a podcast takes time away from thinking one’s own thoughts and simply being in the world.

nrhatch - March 14, 2017

Some people are so afraid to “be alone” with themselves that they demand constant external input ~> earbuds while walking in nature, smart phone when “stuck” in line, TV and radio on 24/7, etc.

They would benefit from taking a break:

Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits.
~ Satchel Paige

10. Bun Karyudo - March 14, 2017

Oh no, not my anterior cingulate cortex being weakened again! I hate when that happens. Guess I’ll just have to lay off my cell phone for a while. 🙂

nrhatch - March 15, 2017

Your anterior cingulate cortex will thank you, Bun!

11. simplyjsb - March 17, 2017

This is very true. I can’t seem to ever put my phone down. 😕

nrhatch - March 18, 2017

As Elsa (from Frozen) sings: “Let it GO! Let it GO!”

12. Debra - March 18, 2017

I really enjoyed this article, Nancy. I was immediately impressed with the information suggesting that as we age it really is more difficult to focus. I have been aware for some time that I’m too easily pulled into the trap of focus on my iPhone. The news alerts alone are my downfall! There were excellent suggestions in this article and I’m going to take advantage and make a few personal changes. Thank you!

nrhatch - March 19, 2017

Excellent! Once we start paying attention to what we’ve been doing (out of habit), we can start to be more mindful of our choices going forward.

Maintaining focus in the midst of the constant barrage of distractions is worth it . . . our freedom is at stake!

13. beeblu - April 2, 2017

The art of observation is being degraded by a constant craving for passive stimulation.

nrhatch - April 2, 2017

Yup. Everywhere we look, we see droids staring into Smart Phone hoping for another hit of stimulation.

14. loveandlightmeditations - May 3, 2017

I love my smartphone but I know there’s sometimes when you just need to put it down and enjoy nature, aha. Always have this vision of living in the countryside with minimal technology when I have children, my worst nightmare is to be ignored for a phone screen.

nrhatch - May 3, 2017

I expect your children will benefit if you follow that vision . . . especially if they don’t have to compete with a phone screen for your attention.

15. Rebekah - May 4, 2017

Thank you for this post. I use meditation, exercise and nature walks to balance my inordinate amount of time on the computer. I fear that a video game would be too addictive and distracting for me, though I have done the brain training programs and enjoy those challenges. A good crossword puzzle can keep me occupied , but also creating can be totally immersive whether it be knitting, designing on the computer or painting. That’s my favorite way to be engaged.

nrhatch - May 4, 2017

Finding balance in this techno-world of ours makes sense. I’m with you on video games ~ they don’t seem like as good a use of time as walking or meditating or reading a book.

When I paint, I’m “in the moment” . . . just choosing the next color and the next color and the next color. Aah . . . that’s better!

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