Managing Life’s Distractions – UK Extension

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We live in a whirlwind of information, and many times it’s a struggle just to stay focused on one thing.  Dr. Nicole Perritore, with UK Extension, sits down with Meteorologist Eric Burke to discuss some strategies for managing life’s distractions.

Dr. Perritore says social media is a great way to stay connected to friends and family, but it can stop you from being able to concentrate on a task you have to do.  If you are always checking for status updates, you may not be able to stay on track with the task you have to do.  The best way to avoid this distraction is to not log onto social media sites when you are at work.  If you feel like you have to check, limit it to only when you have break times. Also, don’t have the tabs open at the top of the computer and don’t auto log on.

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When it comes to emails, Dr. Perritore recommends, if possible, to create only certain times that you answer emails, even if it is that last ten minutes of every hour.  That way you can work on your project uninterrupted and still check your emails in a timely manner.

Also of note, most of us like to think that we are good at multitasking – that we are able to get more done in a shorter amount of time.  Dr. Perritore says that, actually, it usually takes LONGER to complete those tasks then if you had done each one individually.  This is especially true if you are working with a tight deadline. Save multitasking for tasks that are not urgent.

Finally, watch out for stress and being tired! The best way to deal with stress is to find a way to reduce stress.  You may start deep breathing or even meditation.  One study even found that when people meditated they not only lowered the stress but actually increased their focus!  Meanwhile, when you are not getting a good night sleep and resting, it can be very hard to concentrate.  By getting enough sleep you are able to be more alert and be able to pay attention to the task you need to complete.

Find more information on maintaining your focus, as well as other great UK Extension programs at ca.uky.edu.