Can't watch a movie from start to finish?
Can't read a whole document without staring into space?
Can't write a single paragraph without checking fb?
It's not your fault. Apparently the average human attention span is just eight seconds long, shorter than a goldfish.
Today there are so many distractions, and even those interruptions get interrupted.
Luckily there are ways to boost your attention span, ignore distractions and focus!
(Try them all or try just a few, whichever you prefer! :))
First things first, we need to just chiiiiiill.
* Listen to a calming song. Preferably one with no words.
(Works best with headphones).
Focus on the music for a couple of minutes.
It's like exercise for your brain and will help improve your ability to ignore distractions and relieve stress.
So shut your eyes and breathe in slowly & count to four, hold for four seconds and exhale, while counting to four. Practise for 5 mins.
* Literally do nothing
Now you're calm, let's get organised!
* Take a 'Digital Sabbath'
Experts believe a break offline increases concentration as well as real- world engagement.
You decide what to unplug from, (all technology? Communication? Just WiFi?)
And decide how long. Stick to it. You won't be sorry
* Overhaul email & social media
Keep your email and Facebook open all day and you surrender to it.
Every time you just pop over, and impatiently check for updates, it takes roughly 15 mins to focus your attention back to the main task.
It's so bad to dart back from task to task, so set yourself a limit, if that's only checking once an hour, or twice a day, or switching off all together until the task is complete.
*Tidy up your digital mess
lean up your desktop, delete unnessacary icons & apps, turn off notifications and shut down programme you are not using.
Next, if social media or casual web browsing is your problem, try 'StayFocusd' or 'SelfControl' apps.
They block specific websites for your chosen time period, fight back
Do you suck at multitasking? Test yourself;
Out loud, count 1-10. Then say A-J.
Now alternate the two- 1A2B ...
Take twice as long? Thought so.
You're a bad multitasker!
So stop watching Netflix, googling random things or daydreaming and focus on the main task.
If it makes it easier, write down what you want to watch on Netflix, what you're annoyed about or what you want to google, on a bit of paper, and deal with it after you're finished
Now get to work!
* Give yourself a target.
For example, 25 minutes focusing then a 5 minute break.
Or one chapter/paragraph done and a 5 minute break.
* Reward yourself
If you set a target, like above, give yourself a reward.
Eat a square of chocolate, make a cup of tea. (Tea boosts memory, calms you and helps you be more alert).
Just remember, a 5 minute break per 25 mins.
I hope these tips have helped you, for times when you just need to kick your own butt and focus!
Do you have any other tips or suggestions?