- Are you aware of the length of your attention span?
- Is it too short?
- Do you wish to improve your attention span?
We all have errands to run, tasks to complete, and chores to carry out. Often, these are tasks and chores that we do not really want to do, but we have to do them.
The problem is that most of these tasks and chores take too much time to run, and we have difficulty to sustain our focus. Since the attention span is short, we lose attention and interest, or the mind is ‘hijacked’ by other matters.
- Does your attention easily wander away?
- How long is your attention span?
- Can you measure it in seconds or minutes?
Most often, the attention span is too short.
There are a lot of distracting factors that take your attention away and make you forget what you have set out to do. These distracting factors shorten your attention span.
No matter how interested you might be to carry out a certain task, there will always be something to pull your attention away. This wastes your time and your energy and prevent you from completing the task on time, or at all.
Let’s take one example, writing a letter, and find out what happens. The same distracting factors would be present in almost every situation.
You sit in front of your computer or with a pen a paper, ready to start writing. You think how to begin your letter, and then, start writing. However, this does not last long.
- Do you suddenly feel an urge to check your email? If you check your email, you might find something interesting and start reading it, instead of focusing on the letter you are writing.
- The phone rings, you answer it and start a conversation.
- You stop writing, to check your Facebook or Twitter account.
- You might hear someone gossiping, your curiosity arises, and you listen to him or her.
- Sometimes, after writing a few sentences you might get bored and play a video game.
These are just a few examples of distracting factors that ‘hijack’ your attention, shorten your attention span, and prevent you from completing anything efficiently and on time.
To change this, you need to learn how to increase your attention span.
Short Attention Span Has Become the Standard
In this age of the Internet, email, cell phones, Facebook and other social media, the attention span is getting shorter.
- People are becoming less patient than even a few years back.
- There is so much load of too much information, which the mind cannot handle.
- People multitask and scan data, not going deeply into anything.
This leads to short attention span.
This short attention span affects every action and area of life. People are stopping to live here and now. They live in a sort of virtual world, and this affects everything they do.
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In an article, titled ‘Kids, Tech and Those Shrinking Attention Spans’ by Diana Graber, posted on www.huffingtonpost.com, she wrote:
“We hear it all the time — increased exposure to technology is rewiring our kids’ brains, making it tougher to reach and teach them. A Pew Internet survey of nearly 2,500 teachers finds that 87% believe new technologies are creating an “easily distracted generation with short attention spans” and 64% say today’s digital technologies “do more to distract students than to help them academically.”
Ty Kiisel wrote, in an article posted on forbes.com, titled, ‘Is Social Media Shortening Our Attention Span?’:
“It’s probably unfair to blame social media specifically, but I think it’s safe to say that the 24/7 media barrage of soundbites we face every day could be taking its toll.”
“Twitter users need to make their point in 140 characters or less, USA Today, Fox News and others have shortened stories to be quickly digested and even media outlets like CNN rely on the pretty faces of their news anchors to keep our attention. As a result any substantive conversation lasting over five minutes is met with glazed eyes and shuffling feet.
How to Increase the Attention Span?
There are various things you can do to improve your attention span. However, the basic, and most important are three things, about which I have written extensively at my website:
Simple Ways to Improve the Attention Span
- In everyday life, try to focus solely on what you are doing and refuse the follow unrelated thoughts or do other activities, except the one you are doing at the moment.
- There will be many distractions, but that’s natural. Keep striving, and gradually, your attention span would increase.
- Do not respond immediately to every message your receive on your phone. They can wait a little if you are working, reading, or doing anything important.
- When reading, working or carrying out a task, try to focus your attention on what you are doing. Do not daydream, follow every thought that pops up into your mind, or listen to the people around you.
To improve the attention span you need to work on it. It does not happen without striving to improve it.
There is no magic or instant way to improve the attention span, only constant striving.
As said earlier, better willpower, self-discipline and concentration, help improve your attention span in a big way.
There is no necessity of going deeply into these topics here, since you can learn about them here, at this website. I have also written books with advice, guidance and exercises to develop these most important skills.
Guidance about Willpower and Self-Discipline: