Distractions Speak Louder Than Words

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  • The average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000, or around the time the mobile revolution began, to eight seconds.
  • Three quarters of eighteen-to-twenty-four-year-olds say that they reach for their phones immediately upon waking up in the morning.
  • Once out of bed, we check our phones 221 times a day—an average of every 4.3 minutes—according to a UK study. 
  • Nearly half of eighteen-to-twenty-nine-year-olds said they used their phones to “avoid others around you.”
  • A 2012 study from the University of Essex demonstrated that merely having a cell phone visible in the room—even if no one checked it—made people less likely to develop a sense of intimacy and empathetic understanding during meaningful conversations.
  • Fifty-four percent of “Digital Natives” (people who were born in the age of the internet) agree with the statement, “I prefer texting people rather than talking to them.”
  • 28% of teens say their parents are “addicted” to their mobile devices, and 21% wish their parents would spend less time glued to their phones or other devices.
  • A University of Nebraska study concludes that, on average, students spent 20 percent of their classroom time using digital devices for activities unrelated to class – mostly text messaging but also e-mailing, web-surfing, checking social media and even playing games.
  • Nearly 30 percent believed they could use their digital devices without distracting from their learning. More than one-fourth said it was their choice to use a digital device when they wanted. Nearly 13 percent said the benefits of using digital devices for non-class purposes outweighed the classroom distractions they caused. More than 11 percent of the respondents said they couldn’t stop themselves from using digital devices.

Around the Block

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Go Somewhere

Take a Bath

Break Things Into Small Pieces

Talk to a Friend, Real or Imaginary

Spew

Take a Nap

Take a Walk

Have a Snack

Work on More Than One Project at a Time

Get Comfortable

Do a Crossword Puzzle

Use a Different Tool, Platform, Font

Embrace Messiness

Consult a Friend

Permit Yourself to be Bad

Change the Time You Usually Work

Change the Place

Wash the Dishes

Shut Down Your Computer

Stop Worrying About Grammar

Meditate

Say “I Can” Rather than “I Can’t”

Start in the Middle

Steal Ideas and Make Them Your Own

Read a Magazine

Walk the Dog

Scream

Find Something to Laugh At

Cry, Then Start Working as Though Nothing Happened