How do we get our focus back?
Did we know it was even lost? I remember back in college trying to get through my art class. It was a long class about 6 hours. Why so long? Because it would take some time to get over to the “right side of the brain”. The creative side. We would do exercises for the first hour all focused on waking up the creative side of the brain and then have the rest of the class to delve into whatever project we were working on. Those days are long over. I am not sure I even have time to consider what part of my brain I am using for any given project. This blog for instance. Right brain because it is creative writing? Are analytical people left brained? Is there even such a thing? Does it even matter if we are doing five things at once?
So what happens to your brain when you are multi-tasking;
Writing an email, working on a budget and memorizing your speech for the meeting next week? Not much. Your brain really can only do one thing at a time. No matter how hard you try. Have you ever been running around the house trying to get chores done and feel like you are getting nowhere because you leave a room to do one thing and start doing something else? Completely forgetting that you went to get the mop out of the closet to mop the floor and are now sweeping the hall because the broom was right next to the mop. Permanent brain damage? Maybe.
Our society has become so focused on multitasking that is could be causing permanent memory loss. Stress, even minor stress, can cause a series of reactions that can be harmful to our health. Stress causes the body to produce adrenaline to help give us energy. This increased energy may help the brain work faster but certainly not on more than one task. So if we are multitasking, adrenaline will not help the brain do two things at once. Just one faster. Neither task will be completed to the best of your ability if at all.
So how do we get our focus back?
Stop. Stop multitasking. Stop trying to read and write at the same time. Demand focus. Shut off the phone if you are doing something that doesn’t warrant interruptions. Don’t watch TV with your iPad in your lap. Plan what you are doing and stick to the plan. Work on memory recall by playing small memory games. Seek out quiet time, meditate, exercise, eat healthy and try not to do them all at the same time. Please.