Staying Focused in the Digital Age

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The rise of gadgets in the digital age has led to a decline in human attention span which, by some accounts, is now less than that of a goldfish. Conversations now take place in the form of emojis. A recent study by Microsoft Corporation has found it is more difficult today to stay focused and attentive. The human attention span has shortened from 12 to eight seconds over the last decade. This especially can be a problem when it comes to pursuing a health care education.

We at Concorde, of course want our students to be attentive in their class and studies and be able to focus in on studying for their health care education. In the digital age, it seems the ability to stay focused is a superpower. There are ways to improve our attention span amid the ongoing texts, tweets and other interruptions, and the website MedicalDaily.com recently addressed those.

Ways to stay focused while pursuing a health care education

  1. Drink more fluids. A 2012 study published in The Journal of Nutrition found mild dehydration can cause you to lose concentration. It is imperative to stay hydrated even when you don’t feel thirsty. Men should drink 13 cups of total beverages a day while women should drink nine cups, according to the Mayo Clinic.
  2. Exercise. A 2013 study published in the journal PLOS ONE found increasing your fitness level can do wonders for your attention span. Men who were part of a Spanish cycling team responded seven percent much faster than the less fit group in a computerized task. Exercising the body is exercising the brain.
  3. Avoid electronic devices. A 2013 study found an office worker gets only 11 minutes between each interruption, while it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption. It’s better to give a task a dedicated time slot to solely focus on your work and ignore the irrelevant. Technological devices that are within reach can easily lure you in to decrease your attention span.

Other ways to keep focused while pursuing a health care education

The website Lextalk.com published a blog in 2015 that, well, focused on ways to stay focused. Like the above, these tips can serve well those engaged in health care education as well as other areas of life.

  1. Do whatever you are procrastinating about FIRST. That should, theoretically, clear the mental log jam and refocus you.
  2. Focus for a set amount of time with a built-in break: 25 minutes on, 5 off; 50 on, 10 off, etc. This would work also to fulfill the “get up and walk around because sitting still is killing us” goal.
  3. Block specific distractions. If you just can’t leave Pinterest or Ebay or ESPN alone, block the site.

So, next time you feel like you are losing focus pursuing your health care education, try one of these strategies and see whether it allows you to be more productive.

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