Is Your Attention Span Short?Sep 28, 2022
It's no secret that our attention spans are shorter than ever. With so many distractions vying for our attention, it can be hard to focus on one task for an extended period. It can be particularly challenging when it comes to working or studying. However, there are ways to improve your attention span and get more out of your day. This blog post will discuss tips for improving your attention span and staying focused.
Keeping your focus can be a challenge.
Trying to keep your attention on something can be a challenge nowadays. With the advent of more modern technology came more things that can make us easily distracted and turn our attention to something else. Sure enough, it's normal for our minds to have different thoughts while we are doing something from time to time. However, when it becomes too much, it can affect our personal and professional life and get in the way of accomplishing things.
There are some reasons why someone can have difficulties maintaining a long attention span. As this article from healthline.com states, someone can have trouble paying attention if they have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a head injury, and learning disabilities, among others. And when someone has difficulty focusing on things, it can have some adverse effects on our cognitive performance, such as difficulty concentrating on daily tasks, forgetting or missing essential details about something, and failing to finish our goals and objectives.
Thankfully, there are ways to help improve a short attention span and extend it for longer periods. In addition, medical treatment and therapy can also get employed if one is diagnosed with a medical condition that is the reason for the short attention span. Otherwise, you can do some things on your own if you have trouble focusing, and they can be the following things.
1. Eliminate distractions
When many things around you want your attention, keeping your watch on what you are doing becomes more challenging. Therefore, to maintain focus, you must lessen the number of distractions around you. These can range from your cell phone, social media, things on your desk, TV, and other sources of entertainment (if you are at home doing something), and even unnecessary chatter from people. It's not enough that you put or keep away distractions. You also must have the discipline to control yourself and not engage them until you finish what you have to do.
2. Get in the present moment
When doing something, you may have difficulty focusing when all sorts of thoughts race in your head. They could be something imaginary, ideas that are still yet to happen in the future or reminiscing about past moments. To focus on a task better, one should make a conscious effort to get present at the moment. It means paying attention only to what you are currently doing and not letting your head fly to whatever imaginary zone you like. Getting into the present moment can also help you appreciate the value of things around you that you may neglect when you constantly worry about something or are rushing very fast toward the future.
3. Listen to some good music
If you are having difficulty concentrating on something, why not try listening to music? Some studies indicate that listening to music while doing an activity can enhance productivity. Ideally, one should listen to calm and moving music without lyrics, but energetic and more upbeat songs can also work when that's your thing. Try to see if listening to music can work for you, as it can be a distraction to others, while it does work for some people.
4. Learn to listen to others
Listening to other people speak and paying good attention to what they say is one area where having a short attention span can show. If you don't listen well, you won't be able to answer correctly when the speaker asks something to you. Also, one can do something else while somebody is speaking, such as trying to fiddle with a cell phone or thinking about something else while in the middle of a lecture or conversation. Therefore, one way to improve your ability to concentrate on something is to learn how to listen well to others. Not only will you improve your attention span, but the speaker will also appreciate it if you take the time to listen, as it is a sign of respect and appreciation for somebody else.
5. Do one thing at a time
Multitasking is a myth. The reality is that you are just switching quickly from one task to another, and in the process, your brain has to reorient itself every time you do something new. It can affect the quality of one's work and stress you out when dealing with more than one thing at a time. Dealing with multiple items distracts your mind. So it's better to focus on doing one task and finishing it before moving to the next. You develop sustained attention better this way instead of dividing it constantly over many jobs at once.
6. Take a break
No one has infinite concentration to the point that somebody can keep working for several hours straight on something. At some point, our bodies and minds will get tired, and when we get tired, the more we get distracted and lose our focus. So when you notice that your mind starts to wander more after some time, take a break to rest and recover some energy. Incorporating short breaks after set intervals help to get your attention up when you start working again on your task. And while you are on break time, it wouldn't hurt to drink water or exercise your body a little as these things can also aid your focus.
7. Take down notes
One technique that can keep you focused on tasks is taking down notes. Taking notes makes you concentrate better by keeping your mind engaged by listing critical information and other essential details about your job. As a bonus, if you forget something, you can consult your notes to see vital information that you can use for future reference. Note-taking is something you can do while listening to others or whenever you think you must jot down something meaningful from what you are doing.
Keep up your attention.
While underlying mental health problems can be the cause of why somebody can have a short attention span, it is also possible that one's conditioning towards how you do things can influence how long you can keep your attention on something. For example, doing many things simultaneously, engaging in frequent short bursts of entertainment, or having the desire to acquire and get things done immediately can lead to short attention spans. Unfortunately, technology and our fast-paced culture make it easy to develop such a mindset. Therefore, one must build the discipline and effort required to focus on your activities and keep your attention span for a lengthy period. Nevertheless, a good attention span may be just what you need if you want to accomplish goals better and ensure that you get things done.