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Constantly Checking Your Email Will Make You Dumb

The same goes for our obsession with social media notifications
by John Paulo Aguilera | Mar 8, 2016
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If you're the type who scrambles for your mobile phone to check your email the moment you open your eyes, you might want to reorganize your routine as such habit is actually detrimental to your intellect.

The same goes if you believe multitasking corresponds to efficiency. You're living a lie.

Apparently, constant checking of email and other similar impulsive activities that take your focus off your primary undertaking make you stupid, according to a recent article by productivity trainer Joe Robinson, also the author of the self-improvement book Don't Miss Your Life, for The Huffington Post.

"Interruptions don't just scramble your attention, they also decrease your IQ, which can dive 10 points when you're being chronically interrupted," Robinson explained.

He added that "we get stupid when we're not paying attention," the reason you have lapses at work and your everyday life (e.g. "wrong window" incidents on Facebook chat).

In a psychological sense, people who are guilty of these negative practices have developed a syndrome called Attention Deficit Trait (ADT), according to Massachusetts psychiatrist Edward Hallowell. They get distracted and impatient easily, and adopt an excessive urgency when it comes to time.

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Side tasks, like going through your phone (for calls and texts) and even your social media notifications, also impair your "effortful control"—a brain function concerning attention span—and make you more susceptible to impulsive behavior. Simply put, you can't help but peek at your inbox, despite doing it a couple of minutes ago.

Fortunately, you can curb ADT. Manual email checks, which will reduce the frequency of interruptions, and taking on a recreational activity that requires strict adherence to rules are just basic measures to realign your engagement level to your real priorities. Meditation and similar activities that reinforce concentration have also proven to be effective in improving your productivity level.

Conclusively, your full attention is what constitutes to "optimal experience" and output in any endeavor, as this video by the British Computer Society: The Chartered Institute for IT further explains:


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