Mastering the art of mono-tasking

Mastering the art of mono-tasking

There's a high likelihood that you might not reach the end of this blog post without getting distracted. After all, the internet brims with countless attention-grabbing alternatives that might seem more appealing than reading this blog post. This isn't a reflection of your shortcomings or a personal failure; rather, it's the result of the attention economy, which thrives by capitalizing on your struggle to maintain focus.

How often do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through your phone without any recollection of having picked it up? You are not alone. Studies have shown that when people multitask they become more easily distracted and less productive, have more difficulty remembering information, score lower on tests, and make more mistakes. The reason? The brain simply cannot devote equal attention to multiple tasks at the same time.

Writing an email while on a video call, talking on the phone while walking, scrolling through social media when watching a film. Rarely do we spend enough time completely immersing ourselves in the present moment. Research by The University of California found that it takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds on average to refocus on an original task after an unexpected interruption. In summary, our perpetual state of busyness, coupled with a plethora of digital distractions and notifications, is hijacking our ability to focus on a single task.

To mono-task is to dedicate oneself to one given task for a significant period of time. In contrast to what many of us may believe, interruptions to our everyday lives do not always come from the outside environment. In fact, it is estimated that roughly half of the interruptions we experience throughout the day are self-inflicted. This way of task-switching increases the secretion of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline which make us agitated and susceptible to feelings of fatigue and worry.

How does one begin to break the multitasking cycle and start mono-tasking instead? The most obvious answer is to take action in reducing the number of interruptive opportunities we encounter day-to-day.

Turn off your mobile phone

Simply leaving your phone in another room or limiting time spent on the internet to twice a day will set you up for less self-inflicted distractions. Eliminate the possibility to flick through your phone by locking it in a box or handing it to a family member to deprive yourself from temptation.

Keep a task-timer

Split your day into sessions. Completing tasks may seem less daunting when split into compartments (of time). Spend 30 minutes working or studying and reward yourself with a 5–10 minute break. Spend this time doing something completely different. Scrolling through Twitter does not qualify as a qualitative break. Try going for a walk around the block, taking up a creative hobby, or phone a friend.

Studies show strong social ties can prevent cognitive decline, decreasing the risk of dementia by as much as 40%. Reconnecting with others can:

  • Prevent cognitive decline, reducing dementia risk by up to 40%.
  • Improve mood and increase happiness, especially through volunteering and community engagement.
  • Combat loneliness effectively, as simple acts of conversation can make a significant difference.

If you suspect someone you know may be lonely, you can help by simply being there. Strike up a conversation with a neighbor, or share a conversation with the local grocer. Stretch beyond the boundaries of generations and partake in the real world by switching off your smart device and directing your gaze toward the people closest to you.

Train your ability to sustain focus with Mendi

Although the brain is complex, we know which area in the brain is responsible for focus. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) located in the frontal lobe manages all executive functions including concentration. With Mendi neurofeedback brain training you can directly exercise your PFC by increasing blood and oxygen levels within this area of the brain.

Mendi neurofeedback training benefits the overall functioning of the prefrontal cortex, strengthening your ability to concentrate, regulate emotions, and increase mental resilience. This way of training your brain is completely risk-free and encouraged by neuroscientists worldwide.

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Take your first step towards a healthier brain, improved focus, and mental resilience.

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