8.25 seconds: that’s how short the attention span is in 2024.
This means our ability to focus decreased by almost 25% in more or less twenty years.
And that’s why you need to understand how to increase your attention span to improve your concentration and increase your productivity.
Ever shorter videos, shiny object syndrome, social media, and constant distractions: these are the major factors that contribute to deconcentrating and continually distracting you.
But luckily, there are several ways to boost your attention span and improve your focus for long periods.
You can train your brain and indeed, you should do it, if you really want to achieve results and differentiate yourself from other people.
- Doing one task at a time instead of multitasking can help you focus better and finish work faster.
- Tools like focus apps and meditation improve concentration by keeping distractions away.
- Regular exercise, enough sleep, and reading can reset your brain and help you establish new healthy habits.
- Trying new hobbies exercises your brain in different ways, leading to sharper focus during work tasks.
- Staying focused on single tasks fights off procrastination, helps memory retention, and makes you more creative.
10 Best Ways to Improve Your Attention Span
Attention span isn’t something you can’t improve; there are many ways to do this and create new healthy habits in your life.
These proven techniques are your arsenal for waging war against the ever-looming distractions and emerging victorious with a fortified attention span!
Focus on single tasks instead of multitasking
Multitasking is one of the biggest lies of recent times.
Yeah, it might seem like saving time, but having too many things competing for your attention will split your focus.
Every time I try doing multiple tasks, I feel confused, and I’m more likely to make mistakes.
By giving all my attention to just one job until it’s done, things go faster, and the end result is better.
That’s why you should focus on the task you’re doing and stop doing everything else
Think, for example, of great athletes.
What does an Olympic swimmer think about while swimming? Just swimming, that’s the only activity he’s focused on.
Especially if you have concentration problems, avoid multitasking as much as possible and start concentrating on a single task.
Use focus apps
So, focusing on one task is key, and focus apps can really help improve it.
These handy tools block the most common distractions like social media sites or apps you may wander to when your mind drifts.
In fact, these types of distractions affect concentration, and it’s hard to focus if you are constantly tempted to open social media or Youtube.
They’re great because they keep those tempting pings and pop-ups away so you can get stuff done, definitely the best way to increase your attention span.
Most of these apps even track how much time you spend working on different tasks.
This feature helps me see where my attention goes throughout the day.
By using a focus app, you’ll train yourself to be more mindful about staying on task, and it will be a game changer for boosting your attention span!
My nephew Ryan is affected by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and has a lot of difficulty paying attention in activities such as doing homework or studying.
The best way to help him, as well as to build a robust attention span, has been to eliminate his primary sources of distractions.
For instance, I always make sure my workspace is clear of things I don’t need.
This can be papers, cups, or even extra pens lying around.
A clean space helps me think better and stay on track.
I also turn off notifications on my phone and other digital devices when I’m working.
For me, it’s easy to get distracted by the phone, but it causes me trouble focusing on my tasks.
Everyone has their sources of distractions, so it is essential that you also recognize what yours are and manage to block them.
Meditation can calm your mind and improve attention to detail.
Even a short meditation session can make a big difference in how long I can pay attention, and I’m saying this as a hyperactive person.
I like to sit quietly and breathe deeply, feeling each breath go in and out. Sometimes, I focus on sounds or things I see around me.
Taking moments to isolate yourself from the outside world will help you dwell on details and focus on not overthinking.
Even a 10-minute session per day it’s extremely helpful, so you should give it a try.
Meditation apps like Headspace and Calm teach me different ways to meditate.
Using these tools, I’ve noticed a change in my ability to stay on task longer without getting distracted.
When I was ten years old, I loved reading: I could spend hours and hours immersed in books without losing concentration and enthusiasm.
Unfortunately, today, I rarely read, even though its benefits are innumerable.
You might think you don’t have enough hours in the day, but reducing screen time could help.
Remember how we now only look at screens for 47 seconds without losing focus?
Try replacing some of that with reading a book, motivational quotes or an article instead; it’ll help increase your concentration and reduce the stress caused by digital distractions
Eliminate your main time wasters
Time wasters are one of the biggest causes of a short attention span.
We all have them, and they are tricky.
They might be popping into social media for “just a minute” or saying yes to every request.
These time wasters sneak up on us.
So first, we need to catch these thieves!
Start creating a to-do list, so you know exactly what you need to work on and how to manage your time every day.
I write down everything I do during the day each week.
Yes, it sounds like a lot, but trust me, you’re more productive when you know what you’re doing.
Another huge time waster is constant interruptions; that’s why you must manage them correctly.
Remember to always prioritize the important things: duty first and pleasure second!
Train your mind… but don’t forget your body!
Exercising your body is just as critical as challenging your brain when you need help boosting focus and concentration.
It helps you to feel satisfied but above all to improve your health.
It’s like hitting a reset button! Sustained attention thrives on good health, so I make sure to include regular workouts in my daily routine.
And with physical activity, I don’t mean you need to become a bodybuilder or a professional athlete; even a 20-minute walk day is more than enough to refresh your body and motivate you.
Get enough sleep
Sleep isn’t just for rest, it helps your brain work better.
When you’re well-rested, you can focus more and pay attention longer.
Good sleep does a lot for the mind, like fixing up memories so they stick around.
Try to sleep at least 7-8 hours a night and always go to bed at the same time, to accustom your body to falling asleep faster and more relaxed
You can’t work for long periods of time and think about staying focused for that long; you need to take breaks.
Your mind needs rest just like your body does.
If you try to focus for too long without stopping, it gets harder to pay attention.
Short breaks let you come back feeling fresh and ready to work again.
Think of them as a “reset” button for your focus.
You might worry that taking time off is a waste when there’s so much to do.
But here’s the thing: those little pauses make a big difference!
They stop you from getting bored and losing interest in what you’re doing.
So take a walk or just sit and breathe for a few minutes.
This simple step can boost your concentration when you get back to work.
Start new hobbies
Your attention span may increase if you find the right hobby, especially if it requires a fairly long learning threshold.
I’m talking about activities like learning to play a musical instrument, playing chess, or learning a new sport.
You’ll increase your ability to concentrate on new stuff and you will learn not to give up immediately, distracting yourself with other activities that guarantee instant satisfaction.
And who knows; you may find new friends or your new accountability partner who will accompany you on your path to improvement!
Reward yourself for stay focused
Giving myself little treats helps me keep my eyes on the prize.
If I stick to a task without getting sidetracked, I might enjoy certain foods or take a quick walk outside.
It’s like telling my brain, “You did good, so here’s something nice!“
This way, staying focused feels more fun and less like work.
The trick is picking rewards that don’t mess up or interrupt my focus later on.
So, if I’m deep in work mode, maybe scrolling through social media isn’t the best pick, because it could pull me off track! I
Instead, choosing something that gives me a break without leading to more distractions works best.
Benefits of increasing your attention span
Enhancing your attention span can be a game-changer, acting as the foundation for exponential personal and professional growth.
Imagine soaring productivity levels, tackling procrastination head-on, retaining more information than you thought possible, and unlocking a wellspring of creativity—all within reach as you master the art of focus.
A higher attention span can really make you do more in less time.
This is because you’re not losing minutes or even hours jumping between tasks.
For example, when I pay attention to one task until it’s done, the quality of my work goes up too.
I find myself finishing projects faster, which feels great!
Writing down what needs to be done is a big help for my brain, that’s why I’m a huge fan of to-do lists.
It means less stress about forgetting things and more space in my head to think clearly about the job at hand.
Help you defeat procrastination
Each of us procrastinates daily, and doing so can seriously ruin our lives.
I know it’s easy to put things off until the last minute., but think about this: being able to concentrate better means you can dive into tasks right away instead of avoiding them.
With improved focus, my mind doesn’t wander off as much, so I stay on track with what needs to get done.
Shorter attention spans are one of the main causes of procrastination, because we are unable to concentrate on the things we need to do and we cannot put it off.
Better Memory Retention
When you pay attention longer, you can improve your attentive listening and understand what’s going on.
This is great because it means you don’t forget stuff as much.
Better memory is super important for doing well at work or in school.
If your mind stays sharp, you can work for longer times without getting mixed up or forgetting details.
A longer attention span means better productivity, defeating procrastination, and better work in less time.
Everyone can improve it, you just need to “want it”: It’s hard to change bad habits, but it’s the only way to achieve this goal.
Implementing healthy habits, such as exercising, reading, and meditating, will help you feel better and detoxify dopamine, a common problem in our society today.
But technology doesn’t just bring harm; for example, focus apps or app blockers for your phone will help you stay away from major daily distractions.
Now that you know how to increase your attention span, all you have to do is put these tips into practice and you will notice great results in terms of productivity!