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How To Get Technology To Boost Your Concentration

Smartphone brain image 84849393
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Does the headline of this article seem confusing? Isn’t technology the reason we are increasingly finding it hard to concentrate? Isn’t our 24/7 always-connected culture causing us to have trouble focusing on a single task? The answer to those questions is mostly a strong ‘yes.’ However, there are tech tools that can be utilized to help you improve focus and productivity. A very easy way to think of it is: fighting fire with fire. Here are some ways to use tech against tech to help you get stuff done… and get it done more efficiently. This isn’t all about willpower. We have slowly allowed devices to become almost grafted to our bodies and our life online to take up a too-great percentage of ‘real-life.’ You can, however, choose to begin a journey that must start by accepting that this is a real problem. Happily, it’s a problem that has solutions – some of which are tech solutions!

Smartphone brain image 84849393

If you haven’t downloaded a blocking app yet, you should give it a try. These apps are free to download and can sync across all your devices. The app is an amazing tool that helps improve productivity by allowing you to decide what you wish to see and when you wish to see it. Many of us enjoy scrolling through social media, and social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family. But that’s not generally what you should be doing on a Monday at 9:00 a.m., right? With a blocking app, you can restrict social media access during work hours, when you’re studying, or whenever you choose so that you can get stuff done. The blocking app idea is simple but brilliant. Let’s say you recognize that you waste too much time at the office checking sports scores, or that you use up too much of your workday checking out photos on Instagram. You could set up the blocking app to specifically block your favorite sports site or Instagram during specific times. A blocking app makes use of a psychological technique known as nudging. Those who study human behavior say that we often simply require a nudge to push us back towards productive or positive behaviors. The nudge in this case is a message that pops up if you try to access a blocked site that says, “Nice try! But this side is blocked!”

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The app also comes with scheduling features to help you plan out your day better, as well as timers for people who are fans of the Pomodoro® Technique whereby you work for 25 minutes and then take a short break. Every 4 stretches of 25-minute-work bursts, you take a longer break. For those who find that nudges from a blocking app aren’t strong enough, there is another option that might be likened more like a shove than a nudge… Try a dumbphone. One recently popular model is called the Light Phone and it has a headphone jack, Bluetooth, and can be used as a personal hotspot… but it only has apps for calling and texting. You can enable a couple of other very simple apps such as a calculator or an alarm, but the idea of the Light Phone is that your phone goes back to being a phone instead of a computer in your pocket. The Light Phone uses an electronic paper screen with the same kind of e-ink that’s used in e-readers. This means it doesn’t emit any blue light such as normal phones do – which helps promote sleep by reducing blue-light exposure. Not having access to anything but phone calls or texts may seem a bit Draconian, but for some people it’s another way they can harness technology to become more productive and boost concentration.

Also exciting are new high-tech eyewear and headphones that include sensing tech designed to help people improve their mental focus, as well as relax. In the case of ‘Mindset’ headphones, you undergo what could be described as a ‘guided meditation’ based on the sound of waves lapping at the shore. As you focus on the waves… if the tech senses your brain focusing well, the sound of the waves crashing becomes softer. But the more your mind wanders the louder the waves become. For relaxation, the tech monitors your breathing and as you relax, you’ll hear bird songs through the headset. Such innovations are not on store shelves everywhere yet, and will – for a while – still be a bit expensive. Soon, however, they will likely become commonplace, and join the list of tech tools that can be used to help us regain control of our lives in the age of digital distraction. After assessing your personal needs and situation… If nothing else, start with a blocking app to limit your access to the internet and time-wasting apps during school or work hours and you’ll be shocked to see your productivity skyrocket and your mood and life quality improve as well!