Try This 2-Minute Exercise To Find Out If You're Still Able To Focus
I don't want to sound like an old man, but phones are rotting our brains.
I miss the old days where entire families could do productive activities like sit and watch TV without talking for hours.
Those were the good times.
No, but seriously.
We live in a world full of distractions, and even if you don't realize it, that affects us in different ways.
When was the last time you watched a whole movie without checking your phone once?
Mine was at the premiere of Avatar.
Many studies suggest that being surrounded by so many stimuli, we lose the ability to concentrate for a long time. And I'm not talking about hours, I mean a couple of minutes.
We have a hard time doing a task that requires attention without stopping to reply to a text or check social media. This affects your performance at work, school, and whatever you need to focus on.
If you doubt this or think that it is not so serious, try the following exercise.
The two-minute exercise
Sit in a comfortable position, back straight, legs at 90 degrees.
Turn off the TV, put your phone away from you, and look for a spot on the wall in front of you.
And that's it. Stay focused on that point for at least two minutes. Without doing anything else, without turning sideways. Focus on that point.
If you have no problem doing this, congratulations, your brain is not rotten.
If you find it difficult to stay still without wanting to do something else, like check your phone or get up, I have bad news.
Relax, it's nothing that can't be solved. You're just so used to being stimulated all the time that a boring and simple task like staring at a point on the wall becomes excruciating.
What can you do about it?
This exercise is great not only because it tells you how much you can focus on a boring task. It's also great for practicing and lengthening that focus time.
Try it at least once a day. Cut off all sources of distraction, sit down, and focus on one spot on the wall. Start with 2 minutes, then 3, then 4.
I call it hardcore meditation.
In this way, you train your brain to stay focused even on monotonous things. You will see how it becomes easier for you to stay without checking your phone or your Smartwatch.
Read every story from Mindsmatter (and thousands of other writers on Medium) As a Medium member, a portion of your membership fee goes to writers you read, and you get full access to every story on Medium
We made something a little great! The Anxiety Workbook, get yours by clicking here.
Want To Support Us?
Want Even More?
Grab the latest updates from Mindsmatter. Exclusive stories, mental health resources, and more!