Overstimulation is a 21st-century productivity killer.
We live in a world where distractions are always in reach and where doing only one thing at a time — like reading a book, writing, or listening to someone — has become rare.
Ask yourself the following: how often did you complete a task without leaving browser tabs open, listening to background noises, or getting interrupted by impromptu messages?
Not that often.
Concentrating is hard, especially when we’re facing challenging or critical tasks.
The cause of this lack of focus is overstimulation or “sensory overload.”
According to Healthline,
“Sensory overload happens when you’re getting more input from your five senses than your brain can sort through and process. Multiple conversations going on in one room, flashing overhead lights, or a loud party can all produce the symptoms of sensory overload.”
As such, overstimulation is when too many inputs prevent your brain from functioning efficiently — hampering your concentration, productivity, and work output.
So, where does this overstimulation come from?
In simplified terms, we allow all of these inputs to interfere with our concentration because they produce dopamine in our brains. Social media notifications, Youtube videos, and junk food all create mini-bursts of happiness. And these expected rewards trick our brains into falling for distractions.
Now we know the cause, it’s time to get to the remedies.
To overcome feelings of overstimulation — and regain your productivity, you first need to put yourself in pole position. In other words, you need to create situations that prevent sensory overload. And if that’s not a possibility, you need to equip yourself with anti-overstimulation weapons.
On this basis, here are five ways to fight against overstimulation.