In this day and age, we have lots of resources that help us stay out of focus. As everything is readily available at your fingertips, it’s hard not to not get distracted.
We cannot ignore the fact that digitization has hugely impacted our lifestyle. More than one billion TikTok audiences spend hours watching a 15 second video, period. Each video carries a range of information and emotions. And your brain is left there to process them.
Not just TikTok, but popular social media sites like Facebook and YouTube have also joined the bandwagon with Facebook Reels and YouTube Shorts.
But apart from digitization, there are several other factors that could affect your focus. Here we will discuss all the ways you could increase your attention span.
Practice 3 P’s—Planning, Prioritizing, Performing
Planning, Prioritizing, and Performing are three major factors of Time Management. And if you want to boost your attentiveness and stay focused, time management can be of great help.
Create a To-do List (Plan)
Having your tasks properly assorted is a great way to maintain an active attention span. You can always look back on the list, and this way, the chances of you missing out on anything that’s important gets pretty slim.
By creating a list, you become more attentive, and it psychologically urges you to work on your task on a regular basis.
Sort Task (Prioritize)
Classify your tasks in terms of urgency and importance. Because when you identify the chores that need to be completed within the demanded time, working on the right task will elevate your attention and focus. Also, make sure you are asking yourself these questions to help categorize your tasks:
- Is this work urgent?
- How much effort does this task require?
- Are there any extra resources or effort needed in this work?
Pomodoro Technique (Practice)
The sole purpose of the Pomodoro technique is to make us focus better on our tasks and improve productivity. In this method, after every 25 minutes of working, we take a 5-minute quick break, then get back to work and repeat the same cycle.
This way, it helps us to break down our tasks into smaller and less complicated ones, which makes our ability to focus sharper and ease our minds.
Setting Clear Goals and Objectives
Setting/identifying goals and objectives for any task can immensely help you to gain clarity and direction while working on it. Besides, when you attain these facets, your attention span automatically comes on the front foot, and you get that zeal to stay focused.
Set Realistic Deadlines
If you have time frames that are unachievable, then this will not only put you in panic mode but also affect your regular attention and focus.
That is why in order to have control over your work, it is important to have realistic deadlines. This way, you are also less prone to frantically make mistakes and keep motivated and organized.
When you put your focus on multiple things at the same time, it can create mental cross-firing.
Doing more than one task at a time, especially more than one complex task, takes a toll on productivity.
When you switch tasks, it might take as little as one tenth of a second, but you have to reset your brain and focus on that second task while keeping your previous task in mind. This will require a lot of bandwidth for your brain.
“What happens on the other side of the brain is that you’re starting a brand new activity, so in fact you’re probably slower and not nearly as good at doing both activities at the same time.”Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent
Recognizing Long/Short-Term Goals
Setting smart goals is the ability to draw a roadmap for our mind. It basically helps us to prioritize tasks and remain motivated, which ultimately improves our attention span as we work towards achieving our goals.
Both short-term goals and long-term goals provide us with a clear sense of purpose and direction. So, go ahead and identify your task’s objectives and accordingly set these goals.
An unorganized and messy environment is a perfect stop to lose your concentration and focus. For that reason, maintaining a well-organized workspace has become a staple in most offices. Having a nicely assembled workstation can add a benefit in less external distraction and improve staying focused.
Make a Clutter-Free Area
Clutters can cloud our minds and increase distractions. When you are working in a tidy and clean surrounding, it gives a sense of calm and order.
To some extent, this helps in maintaining our stress levels low. So put in that effort to make your working area sleek. Also, give equal importance to cable management of your desk/workspace.
Add Elements for Personalization
The main motive for staying focused is to achieve productivity. And to improve productivity, one of the determining factors is having a Happy Workplace. So make an effort to add those personal touches in your designated work surrounding (keeping the work ethics in mind).
When you add personal touches to your office space, this creates a positive sense of well-being, which can make your mind calmer and eventually helps you in the productivity of your task.
Work in a Balanced Lighting
Poor lighting can easily cause disturbance in our concentration and make us go out of focus from our work. According to International Labor Organization, anyone who is working in such lousy lighting can lead them to eye fatigue, headaches, and stress. That is why good lighting is crucial to both our mental and physical well-being.
Get a Comfortable Seating
When the seating arrangement is uncomfortable, it can lead to body aches and pain which automatically affects your focus. So don’t compromise on this aspect, and make sure you have comfortable/supportive seating to eliminate strain on the body during work hours.
Regular Device Maintenance
Working around less optimal devices or equipment can have a negative impact on your workflow. Since these tools are supposed to make the work easier, if the same devices are in such degrading conditions, it can certainly disturb us. Hence, regular checkup on all of your tools and equipment is vital.
Prioritizing Health and Mindfulness
One of the key factors that can help in achieving concentration and proper focus is by being conscious about your health and mindfulness.
Do you know there is a correct way to breathe? You are supposed to inhale only through your nostrils, and while breathing in, bring the air down towards your belly and then slowly exhale.
According to various sources, proper breathing practice can help manage your stress levels and keep you calm.
Technology has made most of our work constricted to digital devices, i.e., laptops, computers, and mobile phones. You may be on a office work where avoiding screen could be inevitable. But, the more are glued to the screen with no physical momentum, the less productive you would be.
Take a look at this stat:
Since everything is on the tip of your finger, every time you hit a roadblock, you may be inclined to seek a bit of entertainment, and a 10-minute Youtube video doesn’t sound too long.
To break this cycle, next time you hit a roadblock, try taking a 5 minute break from the screen. A mild stretch or simply taking a few steps and walking around can be of great benefit.
Practice Active Listening
Active listening is when you consciously make an effort to hear out what the other party/person is saying and be fully present in that moment.
When you are actively listening to someone, it creates a mindful engagement that enhances your concentration. And that is why effective listening has a higher tendency to make you better at staying focused and also strengthen your attention span.
Getting Quality Sleep
As per Harvard Health, when people don’t get enough sleep, their attentional focus declines. So if you have sleep deficiency, chances are you may find it difficult to concentrate, and that can result in taking a longer time to complete tasks.
Thus, ensure that you have an adequate sleep quota of at least seven or more hours a night (for adults).
Eating Nutritious Food
Health is an extremely important factor that is linked with our concentration and focus. So mindful eating and hydration are necessary if you don’t want to compromise on your focusing skills.
Lack of nutrition or hunger can not only make you responsive to illness, but it also affects your mental well-being causing stress and anxiety. So, make sure you are not just simply eating but consuming all the nutritional food.
With today’s fast-paced life, most of us are dealing with some kind of stress or the other. The major drawback of being in a stressed state is losing our balanced perspective.
This can eventually result in losing your attention and focus. So, don’t think twice about making an effort to take care of yourself both mentally and physically.
Utilizing Digital Tools
Since digital tools have become an integral part of our lives, we can utilize these digital tools as a part of our productivity planning to improve our concentration and focus.
If you are someone who finds it challenging to pay attention to tasks, then digital planners can be your best resource.
From setting up reminders for important meetings and events to creating a structured schedule, digital planning tools help balance tasks and improve work efficiency.
There are a variety of digital tools that can cater to a specific need of yours, whether that be time management, financial planning, journaling, or task management. In terms of digital planners, there’s something for everyone.
Notes can be extremely useful not just in your workspace but in everyday life. Taking notes is much more than just pinning down information. It helps you understand the agenda properly and forces you to pay attention to the written details.
Moreover, if you have concentration issues, noting down any information or idea helps you to keep alert and attentive.
Limit Device Usage
One of the major factors that have declined our concentration and focus is the excessive use of digital devices. This creates habits of distraction and, with time, leads to reduced productivity in your other work.
Therefore, if you want to concentrate properly on your work, try to block these digital distractions by keeping a usage timer or limiting your time on devices.