An Educator’s Guide to Device Distractions

August 29, 2022
An Educator’s Guide to Device Distractions

Device distractions are at an all time high in our modern digital world. Conversations are interrupted to look at the newest notification, individuals disconnected at meal times, and constant disruptions to both online and offline productivity. Oftentimes users don’t even realize how device distractions are impacting and interfering with their professional and personal lives. The following are four common device distractions that we are all most likely guilty of. Perhaps try to focus on one device distraction area to make small adjustments moving forward to help enhance personal productivity and relationships?

Allowing a text to interrupt your productivity

How many times do we work at our desk and allow incoming texts to distract from our current task at hand? Everytime we do this we shatter our current train of thought and have to refocus our attention. Sometimes we can get back to the current task quickly, but other times that new text might tempt us to pivot and move in a different direction that takes valuable time away from our productivity. Perhaps try putting our personal device on ‘do not disturb’ for thirty minutes while you complete an important task. It might be surprising to see how much more you get done within a set period of time without text message distractions.

Web browser tabs with online games or shopping

The last few years have brought increased opportunities to work and learn from home. Many meetings are now hosted virtually, learning activities may be hybrid, and task completion may offer more flexibility in location. This more flexible work environment is making it extremely tempting to have different and more exciting tabs open. Perhaps checking out a hot new sale? Scrolling social media stories and updates? Or even passing some time with an online game? It is often hard to stay disciplined and ignore the temptation of these tabs. Ensure that you can carefully manage and maneuver your online time and have scheduled productivity times that stays away from navigating between multiple online sites.

The urgent desire to check a phone notification

Device distractions are definitely interfering with your life if you turn to look at a notification during an in person conversation, work meeting, school instructions, or the need to check part way through a sports game or activity. It is important not to let device distractions stop you from living in the present moment and genuinely connecting and engaging with others. A device notification can always wait, but moments with loved ones and life experiences can’t. Be sure you aren’t missing out on something amazing or limiting relationships just because you feel the need to check your phone.

Bringing a device to social situations and family meals.

Be careful that your device isn’t adding a plus one to family meals, special events, and important social situations. It is important to carve out time where you are offline and away from your device. Family meal times should be a device free zone to promote quality conversation and connection time. A healthy balance of online and office time is critical to maintaining positive and healthy relationships with family and friends. Tuck away that digital plus one for a set period of time each day to ensure you are making lasting memories and maximizing the experience with the real world around you.

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