Multitasking is an art that not everyone can master easily. While it comes naturally to some there are some others who push themselves to reign supremacy over it. The world today offers a plethora of choices and information but we are forced to perform and choose our preferred ones within the same 24 hours-a-day timespan. We haven’t yet discovered a time machine to bless us with more hours every day! Time is the most cherished commodity here as most of us either don’t have enough of it or lack it to fulfil many desirable activities and this includes physical activity and exercising as well. But I must accept that we have become much better in investing some quality time for daily exercise routines at least with the increasing cases of heart failures and cancer rates witnessed in the younger population. ‘Quality’ time does sound booming and worthy but the question here is whether we are really spending ‘quality’ time-this doesn’t involve allocating 60 or 90 minutes for workout but whether or not we are focused on the workout done! This stands as a big question mark in this digitally revolutionized world that hopes to get the world under its feet with its technology feat!
Diverting Your Focus for Increased Productivity
By distractions I don’t mean the music that’s played while working out at the gym or the small talks that you have while going for your brisk walk at the park. Indeed, listening to music or talking with your friend are motivating factors. A fast song helps you increase your pace and a brisk walking mate motivates you to walk faster while on a morning walk with her/him. But do you read the newspaper while cycling on the stationary bike or become immersed in a telephonic conversation while on the treadmill? Then that must be revisited. It is better to hold onto something that does push you to exercise. You also need to look at the effects of some motivating factors such as watching a movie on the TV screen, listening to radio news or talking to a friend as there are some do’s and don’ts concerning them. Never doubt the benefits of music as it relaxes your mind and releases pleasure hormones. There are some who eagerly wait to hit the gym to finish off the last episode of their favourite series or listen to an interesting podcast. In such cases, the individual focuses more on the entertainment at hand which slows the individual’s pace as the mind is onto something else more interesting. Unable to focus equally on two different things the pace of the workout automatically declines bringing down the entire productivity.
Visual distractions should be handled carefully-for instance, a television should be placed at eye level else straining to look at it can change the posture thereby ruining the workout. Group workouts have been sought after these days by more and more individuals who rely on their group members for being regular. Most of the individuals in the group refrain from missing a class due to a motivating friend. It also helps people push themselves beyond their limits and achieve newer results as every person in the group wants to prove his/her worth, surpass records and become the best performer. Until now it is a motivation but it can turn into a distraction any time soon. If your motivating friend missed classes due to some unavoidable reasons you might as well miss the class-you become too dependent on the friend and now this has affected your performance as well. Group workouts can make you lazy as well (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/fitness/Group-workout-motivation-or-distraction/articleshow/12233009.cms). Resting between sessions and sets is required but when the focus is diverted towards chatting and lazing around the motive behind the workout is lost. The group becomes a distraction indeed. You need to draw a firm line and choose your way-are you going to make your group the motivating factor or the distracting one?
Disconnect to Reconnect
Technology is the most distracting factor while involved in a workout. We have been accustomed to check our emails, notifications and chat windows every few minutes but doing the same during exercising puts you on a lost trail. Our smartphones prohibit us from staying focused on a task at hand-hearing a notification sound or the feel of vibration is more than enough to bring about distraction. Answering a call is worse-once you are done talking you go about checking for all other things in your tiny gadget. Hence, it is better to turn off notifications while working out or ignore it until you are done with the activity session. Its best to set your phone in airplane mode as this helps you avoid calls as well as notifications.
Instead of doing all of this isn’t it best to leave your phone somewhere out of sight while you exercise? Maybe in the gym locker or better at home. You always can use your iPod or the gym’s stereo system for music. If you are exercising at home it is even more challenging as you are overloaded with distractions from all sides-the blaring television volume, the screaming kids or the alluring mobile phones. So, if possible, set aside an exercise space that doesn’t include any of these or go out for your workout-maybe a jog/walk in the running track or perform yoga at the local park nearby. Exercising outdoors has its own perks-beyond providing physical benefits its refreshing to your mind as well. Beyond all, schedule your workout time. If you don’t do it there are negligible chances that you will follow physical activity schedules. Dedicate 100% of your efforts during this time for exercising devoid of smartphone sounds, rising email counts and notification alerts.
We rely on our fitness apps and wearables for tracking exercise progress but this doesn’t mean that you have to look at it every 30 seconds for monitoring progress. Forget about the device after starting the workout and look at the results only after you are done. Analyse the results and find ways to improve performance before beginning the workout the next time. We are ruled by our digital devices and smartphones and there is no chance for doing away with them in this world. Its up to us to manage technology use such that it does not hamper our efforts or become our own leaders. Learn to unplug from technology once a while, spend time exclusively with your own self and get the best of your fitness sessions. Break off from boredom, fatigue and pain by designing your own methods to combat them.
Concentrate on the Workout? No, Thanks: https://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/18/fashion/18FITNESS.html
Group Workout, Motivation or Distraction? https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/fitness/Group-workout-motivation-or-distraction/articleshow/12233009.cms
Staying Focused in the Era of Digital Distractions: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/staying-focused-in-the-era-of-digital-distractions
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