With all the information we’re confronted with on a daily basis—status updates, tweets, images, trending topics and headlines—maintaining clear focus can prove challenging. Considering that most feeds on social media sites (where it’s estimated that the average 18-34 year old spends nearly four hours daily) are designed to be clickbait-heavy, it’s no wonder we find ourselves emerging from an hour-long internet-induced fog, despite having had every intention of getting work done.
To combat this mindless time waste, developers have come up with multiple strategies to help maintain focus and productivity—simply search for “productivity app” in your laptop or phone’s app store, and you’ll be overwhelmed with the possibilities. Still, simple solutions can sometimes be the best solutions.
Similar to how service dogs know they’re on duty when wearing their harness, workers who consume massive amounts of media every day out of necessity are beginning to train themselves to perform tasks using dedicated equipment. Discussed in Wired.com’s article, How Working on Multiple Screens Can Actually Help You Focus, the trend is gaining popularity.
The idea is to perform certain tasks (or utilize social media sites) using specific devices. In the article, one worker explains that he uses social media only on a tablet, so he’s not tempted to scroll through them when working on his laptop, instead remaining focused on work. Another said she sends articles from her laptop to a tablet, to be able to read without being interrupted by email. Though it seems counterintuitive, using multiple screens and devices somehow helps focus attention rather than scattering it.
As with anything, however, this strategy may prove counterproductive for some. In the long run, finding what works for you—whether navigating through tabs, printing out documents in physical form, or switching devices for various tasks—is the best solution of all.
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