A pot boiling over. An iron left on. Children not being supervised. Doors being left unlocked.
You are likely aware of how distracted driving leads to more accidents on the road, but did you also know that a similar impact is being felt at home?
It is called distracted living.
Distracted living is not only having an impact on our ability to focus and remain productive but also making us less safe.
Have you ever been in the middle of cooking dinner when you received a call or text that turned into a conversation, causing you to forget about the BBQ or stove for too long?
If so you are not alone.
We wondered why this is happening more now than ever before? We have always dealt with distractions whether it be the kids, pets, television, the seducing allure of a comfy couch or a chatty neighbour. So what has changed?
In a word, technology.
Fifteen years ago the two most common sounds interrupting us were alarm clocks in the morning and a phone ringing throughout the day. Today with our smartphones, tablets, social media and video chatting, the type and frequency of interruptions have exploded.
Distracted living causes our attention to be fragmented which leads to profound psychological impacts, which you can learn all about here but the focus of this article is on the immediate physical dangers of distracted living.
So how do we improve the situation?
- Be mindful.
The first and the best thing we can all do is recognize how many distractions we have in our life. Think of yours, write them down. The ability to simply be aware of what is diverting our attention from our tasks will help us control or even eliminate some of them. We think we have grown used to them and can handle them, but not until we step back and observe things objectively do we see the full picture.
- Turn off notifications.
The most practical solution to the biggest distraction of them all, our devices, is to proactively manage notifications coming from our phone. There is a range of options here.You can either turn them off completely so the only time you check your phone is when you choose to, or you can customize your settings so that you only receive alerts for the most important things. Not all notifications should be the same. A notification about a new like or an email should not get our attention as much as a text from a spouse.
- Structure of our screen time.
Notification settings not doing the trick? A great way to improve our cognitive health is to set aside designated times where we can get caught up on news, texts and social media. Being reachable 24/7 is not healthy or sustainable and it should not be expected.
There are enough threats to the safety of our homes and health already. We should not add to this list by not being able to take our eyes away from our phones.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.
Erie Mutual Insurance proudly serves the business, home, farm and auto insurance needs of members throughout Southern Ontario including Haldimand, Niagara and Hamilton.
Please contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.