Productivity Arata! In today’s episode we’ll start with disturbing news: a growing number of teenagers are pretending to have attention deficit disorder to get medication. They want to increase attention through prescription drugs. This is what Daniel Goleman, author of the book Focus, says in the chapter “The Impoverishment of Attention”.
If you’re interested in increasing focus, I invite you to download an ebook that I have prepared as a gift to you by going to this link.
The problem is affecting not only teenagers. A Mexican executive says that in the past she could do five-minute video presentations, but nowadays she has to reduce the message to a one and a half minutes at most, otherwise her audience’s attention drifts, and people start to check their phones.
Another indicator of the lack of attention is when a person is reading an interesting book but cannot read more than two pages at a time without feeling an irresistible urge to go check email or social media.
In a way, this is a fear of losing out on what may be going on in another corner. It also conveys the notion that the here and now is not very interesting.
Because of that, in our online course, FOCUS, we give you the exercises to practice mindfulness, i.e. being fully present and increasing your focus.
Sometimes, a kind of mini-contract with other people is necessary. An example is the couple who agrees that as soon as they get home from work, they will leave the smartphones switched off and inside a drawer.
Why something so extreme like that?
Both the husband and wife feel frustrated when the other one picks up the phone and is no longer fully present. But at the same time, they both have that irresistible urge to “just check something quickly”.
In such cases good, respectful and sincere communication can greatly help to identify what type of mini-contract can be useful to maintain the couple’s harmony.
Regarding treatment and therapy, it is obvious that we should never do self-medication. I will read here an excerpt from Daniel Goleman’s book that is very worrying:
Patients are telling a doctor I know that they are ‘self-medicating’ with drugs for attention deficit disorder or narcolepsy to continue working.
A lawyer said if he took no drugs, he was not able to work and could not read contracts. This is crazy. This type of medicine is not candy: these drugs can bring dependence, various side effects, and they need to have very serious professional monitoring. Previously, these prescription drugs were only used in severe cases, but today they’ve become some kind of ‘performance enhancing pills’, as Viagra is misused by those who have no dysfunction, just for fun.
If you are wondering whether you have attention deficit disorder or whether it is merely a lack of focus, get a professional clinical examination. And here is a special tip: we are now living in an age with a much larger amount of information than a few years ago.
Because of that, it is normal to feel that it’s harder to process everything. We need special focus techniques.
Herbert Simon, Nobel laureate, said that information consumes attention. Now that we have a wealth of information on the Internet, we live in a world of poverty of attention.
As I always repeat in the natugood videos : it’s crucial that you get good information and work together with licensed professionals you trust, taking medication only under their supervision. The good professional will know how to make the diagnosis in cases of illness and most important, will know how to advise you when no remedy is required. Always remember the value of good communication and self-knowledge and the benefit of practicing focusing techniques. If you want to learn the exercises that you can do to strengthen your attention span, download our ebook now by going to this link.