There are two intriguing facts you should know: the first one is that 98% of people reading this will lose focus before the second paragraph. The second fact is that a goldfish has a longer attention span than an average human being today. Attention span is the period an animal or person can stay concentrated or interested in something. A goldfish is notorious for having one of the shortest attention spans in the world – with about nine seconds of attentiveness at a time.
Interestingly, humans have been competing for a spot at the bottom. In 2000, research showed that the average human had an attention span of 12 seconds. Today, that statistic has fallen to 8 seconds, winning humans the position of the shortest attention span Instead of a goldfish. What a fall! The negative effects of a short attention span are massive. Some include;
- poor performance at work or school
- inability to complete daily tasks
- missing important details or information
- communication difficulties in relationships
- poor health related to neglect and inability to practice healthy habits.
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Now that you know how serious this is, I hope you find comfort in the fact that this is not a hopeless situation. It’s something we can definitely work on.
Activities to increase your attention span
Treatment for a short attention span depends on the underlying cause. For instance, if the underlying cause is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), treatment may include a combination of medication and behavioral therapy but generally, the following are some activities you can do to help improve your focus.
- Chew gum
Various studies have found that chewing gum improves attention and performance at work. Chewing gum also appears to increase alertness and lower stress. While chewing gum may not have a long-lasting effect on your ability to concentrate, it’s an easy way to improve your attention span in a pinch.
- Drink water
Staying hydrated is important for your body and mind. Dehydration can worsen your ability to think and focus. This even includes mild dehydration you may not even notice. Being dehydrated for just two hours can impair your focus.
The benefits of exercise are endless and include improving your ability to focus. Numerous studies have shown that exercise improves attention and focus in people with ADHD. To help improve your attention span, consider taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day four or five times a week.
Meditation involves training your mind to focus and redirecting your thoughts. This habitual practice is used to help develop several beneficial habits, such as a positive outlook and self-discipline. There’s evidence that meditation can improve focus, and that continued meditation leads to improvements in sustained attention.
- Keep yourself engaged
If you struggle to pay attention during meetings or lectures, try asking questions or taking notes. Evidence shows that taking notes by hand is more effective in improving attention and listening than using a laptop or other device, which can be distracting.
- Behavioral therapy
Behavior therapy refers to several types of therapy that treat mental health conditions. It helps identify and change unhealthy or self-destructive behaviors. There’s growing evidence that cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective way to treat inattention in people with ADHD.
Check out these recommended activities to improve your focus and memory. Your self-development goals are at stake if you can’t focus on the individual tasks that are meant to gear you towards success. These tips can help you complete that important online course that will change your life for good. Take charge today!