My plan was to finish reading at least one book within a week but it is quite impossible because of so many distractions around me. I believe it is also true for you and true for so many others as well. Most of the time digital distractions pulled us from anything you plan to accomplish. I believe it is become plague for all of us in different extents.  It is become our habit of distraction; let me put it this way – we are become ‘addict’ from one to another.

One of the most challenging part of distracted habit is we often don’t even realize it is actually happening.  It sneaks up on us and before we know that we are become addicted and powerless and obviously turn ourselves into our addiction. But actually we are not powerless. The power we have is our awareness, and we can develop it by forming habit. The most common distraction nowadays are social media sites/apps (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube etc.) or it could be your mobile or computer or TV. So just pay attention to what kind of social media sites you visit and how long you want to spend with it, how often you’re looking at your phone and how long you’re spending in front of a screen all day. When we are aware of these distractions and urge, we can easily identify the causes and examine its effect precisely.

Realization when it happening: FoMO or “Fear of missing out” – is the popular buzz word around us nowadays. From the perspective of psychological needs according to Przybylski, A. K., Murayama, K., DeHaan, C. R., & Gladwell, V. (2013), FoMO is characterized by “a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing”.  A psychological dependence to being online could result in anxiety when one feels disconnected, thereby leading to a fear of missing out or even pathological Internet use. A great write-up done by Wortham, J. (April 10, 2011) – “Feel like a wall flower? Maybe it’s your Facebook wall” on NY Times where Wortham mentioned FoMO is perceived to have negative influences on people’s psychological health and well-being, because it could contribute to people’s negative mood and depressed feelings.

As per Wikipedia – Fear of missing out (FoMO) refers to the apprehension that one is not in-the-know or one is out of touch with some social events, experiences, and interactions. People who grapple with FoMO might not know exactly what they are missing, but can still hold a fear that others are having a much better time or having a much more rewarding experience on the spur of the moment. FoMO could result from a variety of social activities in which one is absent, such as a conversation, a TV show, a wedding, a party, or a delicious restaurant in the town. FoMO is also defined as a fear of regret, which may lead to a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity for social interaction, a novel experience, profitable investment or other satisfying event. In other words, FoMO perpetuates the fear of having made the wrong decision on how to spend time, as “you can imagine how things could be different”.

#What’s going on: Distractions, of course, are often about the fear of missing out. We can’t possibly take part in every cool thing that everyone else is doing, but we also don’t want to miss out on any of it. So we look online for what’s going on, what other people are doing and saying, what’s hot. None of that actually matters. What matters is being content, doing things that make people’s lives better, share your knowledge and expertise, being compassionate and empathetic. So let’s go of what we’re missing out on, and focus on the difference we want to make in the world.

Take Action & Habit-Forming: Research shows that it takes 66 days to form any kind of habit. So we can build awareness and form a good habit rather than distracted one. Before taking action or form a habit, try to consider few things and ask yourself – What’s truly important to you? Social media? News? What everyone else is doing all the time? Games? Gossiping?

As a human being we try to do everything, but then we’re not really focusing on anything. We are not going to make any of our little fantasies come true if we pursue all of them. What is the one thing you want to pursue right now? Can you focus on that for at least a month or a week or a day? If not, maybe it is not that important to you. What are the most important things in your life? Pick 3 or 5 at the most. How much of your time is devoted to these things? Can you cut out other things to focus on these? Can you give your 4 most important things your full attention?

Consider taking one or more of these for a month or a week or a day:

  1. Try to block your favorite distractions for a few hours. Games, social media sites, news sites or video sites. You don’t really need to engage all the time with them that often.
  2. Determine and fix a particular time or a day of the week when you can check social media status and other messages. You can fix the time of usages social media 10 minutes break at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m. or while you waiting for your train/bus ( I always follow this). You can write that down. Stick to it.
  3. Get away. Go outside for a walk. Take a walk at your lunch time and explore. Or, ride your bike. Or, go for a run. Or, take the kids to the park.
  4. Meditate. Sit just a couple of minutes, without any distractions, and put your attention on your breath. Return to the breath when you get distracted.
  5. Read a paper book. Close all screens and just give yourself some quiet reading time.
  6. Delete distracting apps from your phone. Games, social media, whatever you tend to turn to when you want a bump of distraction.
  7. Eat without a device (mobile/TV/tab) and eat with your family and talk. Pay attention to your food. Notice the textures, flavors, colors, healthfulness that you’re putting into the temple of your body.

I want to jump on conclusion by referring an analogy given by Sir Ken Robinson on his book ‘The Element’ – he mentioned “Farmers base their livelihoods on raising crops. But farmers do not make plants grow. They don’t attach the roots, glue on the petals, or color the fruit. The plant grows itself. Farmers and gardeners provide the conditions for growth. Good farmers know what those conditions are, and bad ones don’t. Understanding the dynamic elements of human growth is as essential to sustaining human cultures into the future as the need to understand the ecosystems of the natural world on which we ultimately depend.”

So ask yourself what is truly important to you?


By – Doctor Who

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