TAKE A BREAK
Strategies to Fight Distraction OVERCOMING INATTENTION With our phones always on standby, we’re more easily distracted than ever. Then there are also interruptions by coworkers or family members, emails or instant messages that divert our attention, household chores that will “only take a minute,” coffee breaks, and daydreams. Constant distraction hurts us more than we realize, creating a feedback loop of inattention. It’s time we understand what all this multitasking is doing to our minds and figure out how to break the cycle. No matter how good you think you are at it, multitasking doesn’t exist. What we’re really doing is called task-switching. Our brains can concentrate on only one thing at a time, and the quicker we go back and forth between tasks, the less we pay attention, and the more likely we are to make mistakes. Even worse, research says it takes us a whopping 23 minutes to regain our concentration after being interrupted. But what can you do? If you’ve ever been on a diet, you know that willpower has its limits. Simply promising you won’t check your email or phone rarely results in long-term success. But if technology is a big part of the problem, it can also be part of the solution. Try putting your email or phone notifications on silent. Or, consider a website blocker to keep you off distracting websites and an app that will lock distracting features on your phone. Low-tech solutions like a “do not disturb” sign and putting your phone in another room can also help. And mental tricks can still have their place. You probably tend to become productive when you’ve got a deadline crunch, and there’s a reason for that. Tasks have a way of stretching out unnecessarily when we don’t have to follow any restrictions. So, make some! Determine how much time you need to complete a task, and then don’t allow yourself anymore. Ask a colleague for help staying accountable. You’ll be amazed at how much you get done.
SUMMER CRAB AND LEMON CARBONARA
Fresh crab and lemon make this crowd-pleasing pasta dish perfect for summer.
• 12 oz bucatini pasta • 1/2 cup olive oil
• 3 oz Pecorino Romano cheese, grated • 1/2 cup fresh chives, thinly sliced • 8 oz fresh crabmeat
• 2 tbsp garlic, finely chopped • 1/4 cup drained and rinsed capers, chopped • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper • 6 large egg yolks, beaten
• 1 tbsp grated lemon zest • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice • Sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
Though we each have to fight our own battles, this isn’t entirely our fault.
Popular apps make billions of dollars by sucking our attention away from everything
1. In a pot of boiling water, cook pasta until not yet al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup cooking liquid. 2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook oil and garlic until lightly toasted. Add capers and black pepper, then stir for 2 minutes. 3. Add reserved cooking liquid to skillet and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in pasta and cook until al dente. Remove from heat. 4. Stirring constantly, pour egg yolks quickly into the mixture. Add cheese and chives, stirring well until sauce is creamy. Add crab, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Toss together and season with salt.
else, so we’re automatically at a disadvantage. And there may be even more than meets the eye. If you have difficulty concentrating, stress could be the underlying culprit. Get that under control, and distractions might suddenly lose some of their allure.
Inspired by FoodAndWine.com
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