How to increase your attention span in 3 steps

attention span

Attention span is the length of time you can focus on a task, thought or idea, without getting distracted or looking at something else. It’s measured in seconds, minutes and hours.

Having a short attention span is a major reason for failure to achieve success in life. It’s essential for us to get the maximum out of our given resources, so that we can focus on the things that matter most and get our daily tasks done quickly.

Fortunately, there are plenty of things that we can do to surmount the difficulties that come with a short attention span and one of them is to read more. Check out our article about speed-reading and why it matters to learn that skill.

Reading can only compensate for a short attention span to some extent. By reading we may pick up and remember more information than the average person which may make up for the fact that we cannot focus for a long period of times in class, for instance.

However, there are things one can do to maximise their attention span and be able to focus for longer periods of time. Practicing these tips along with reading more can definitely make a difference and help us surmount our leaning or focusing difficulties.

How to maximise your attention span:

The ability to concentrate and focus on a task is one of the vital qualities of human beings. The better that you can do this, the more productive you will be in your daily life.

According to a study, most of us can only stay focused for around 6 hours on a daily basis. That’s not enough to get work done. So if we want to succeed in our job, then we need a change in how we deal with tasks and solutions to extend our attention span.

1- Meditation:

By meditating for 20 minutes a day, you can increase your attention span and improve your focus. It doesn’t matter if you are a firm believer in the benefits of meditation or not, there is no doubt that it can impact your life positively.

There are many benefits of meditation: improved concentration, reduced stress levels and more energy; also improved focus on tasks as well as better sleep. Meditation can help in boosting your attention span as well; it reduces the effects of fatigue during long work periods or when doing repetitive tasks.

It also helps you regain focus during planning and decision-making processes associated with work related activities.  In other words, meditation helps you to be more efficient at work because it helps you to derive maximum benefit from your time, which prevents burnout later in life.

Check out our article about mindfulness as a type of meditation and how it can transform your life.

Breathing exercises:

Breathing techniques can help you learn to pay attention to your surroundings for longer periods of time. It is known as ‘deep breathing.’ The technique helps you control your thoughts in a way that you can focus on what is important and forget the extraneous information.

You can do this by focusing on your breathing and the information you’re getting at the same time, inhaling and exhaling deeply. This will help you connect with the present moment more and keep your mind focused on the source of information; be it a professor giving a lecture in university or a book that you’re reading. It will definitely help you stay present for as long as you’re focused on your breathing too.

Some people argue that it helps because by focusing on your breathing in the background, it can act as a hypnotising factor or something that is keeping you connected to reality, rather than eating lost in your thoughts and imagination.

You will remember things vividly, feel more relaxed, be more alert and attentive. This technique has been shown to boost your attention span by quite some time and help people remember what they’ve learnt.

3- Only go on your phone at specific times of the day:

As the technology breaks the barriers of time and space, it is important for us to use it effectively. By going on our phones, tablets or devices all the time, we learn to disconnect ourselves from reality every once in a while and get distracted for long period of times on end.

This way our brain becomes more likely to lose track of whatever it is that we’re doing and to get bored, overexcited or want to be entertained every few minutes. By setting up rules of only every going on our devices at specific times like our work breaks, we force our brain to learn to focus for longer periods of time.

We are all aware that the more time we spend on social media, the less time we have for other things. This is not only a problem for students but also for employees who can’t hold their attention on their computer screens in their workplace for long enough to get a task done without any distraction.

Bottom line:

One of the biggest problems with modern life is that we do not have enough time. Therefore every day, we are bombarded with distractions, as we constantly need to check our emails, watch videos, read news and follow social media accounts.

All these activities can make our attention span short as we’re trying to focus on too many thing at a time or do too many tasks at a time and we end up doing none in a proper efficient way.

If your attention span is not what it used to be, or if you noticed that it’s becoming worryingly short and that it may be a sign of something more sinister; then you should consult with a psychotherapist or perhaps seek professional help.

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