The brain processes an almost infinite amount of information day and night. This makes it hard to stay alert, let alone pay attention to the world around you.
In our modern world, with its social media feeds, instant updates and never-ending news cycles, staying focused and attentive has become a constant challenge for us all.
On top of that, smartphones have made it even harder to concentrate on anything for more than a few moments at a time.
With so much going on at once, many people are finding it more difficult than ever to focus in order to work, meditate, carry out tasks or accomplish goals.
How to Increase Your Focus and Attention Span
Fortunately, there are several simple things you can do to increase your attention span and make it easier to stay focused.
Here are 9 simple ways you can increase your attention span:
1. Create a To-Do List Daily
Simply creating a to-do list for each day will help you stay focused on the important things. Creating a to-do list can effectively help you increase your attention span because it forces you to prioritize tasks and focus on one thing at a time.
You’ll always have a list of tasks and things that need to be done each day, so you’ll know what’s important and what can wait until later or the next day.
The more detailed your to-do list, the better.
2. Be Mindful
Remember when you were in elementary school, and your teacher would have you stand in the corner for being “inattentive”?
Well, being mindful is the exact opposite of being inattentive.
In the modern world, we are constantly in a rush, trying to cram more into each day than we used to. We are trying to do more and reach higher levels of success. The sad reality is, most of us are not going to make it. Not while we are stressed and impatient.
Instead of worrying about the things we don’t have time to do, we can focus on the things we do have time for.
Instead of dwelling on past matters or worrying about the future, be here and now. Be mindful.
Being mindful is one of the best ways to increase your attention span because it helps you slow down and focus on the things that really matter.
3. De-Clutter Your Workspace
if you are spending hours squinting at a computer screen or hunched over your desk, you are going to have a hard time staying focused.
If your workspace is noisy, full of people and there are many things to do, it’s going to be difficult to focus.
A clean workspace will help you stay focused because it will allow you to see clearly and focus on the things that really matter.
A cluttered workspace is going to distract you and prevent you from staying focused. While you should think carefully about everything you put into your workspace, you should also consider de-cluttering your workspace.
If you make a habit of picking up everything and putting it away, you’ll be able to stay focused and see clearly as you’re working.
Reducing unnecessary noises will also contribute to better focus.
4. Stay Focused on Your Goals
You cannot make any progress towards your goals if you’re constantly chasing after something that’s distracting you.
Your best chance of success is to focus on your goals and let everything else fall into place.
By staying focused on your goals, you avoid wasting time and energy on irrelevant matters and you increase your chances for success.
5. Do not Multitask – Do One Thing at a Time
Multitasking is a myth. Even though we have been told time and time again that we should be doing multiple things at once, science has shown that it’s impossible to focus on multiple things at once.
When you are trying to stay focused, you want to be thinking about one thing at a time. Multitasking can make it more difficult for you to stay focused because you’re doing two things at once.
Multitasking can lead to poor attention and performance, which is another reason not to do it. When you want to increase your attention span, you want to be thinking about only one thing at a time.
If you find yourself spending too much time working on a certain task, delegate the task to someone else. Let them handle the task while you focus on the other one that is more important.
6. Put Away Your Smartphone when Working, Reading, or Studying
It is great to have the freedom to be anywhere and do anything with your smartphone, but it’s going to keep you from staying focused if you’re constantly paying attention to social media or news headlines.
If you need to keep your smartphone on you throughout the day, you are probably not going to be able to stay focused on what you’re doing.
Turning off your smartphone or putting it on mute, at least for one hour a day, is a great way to help you stay focused on what you’re doing.
7. Ask Yourself Why You Are Doing What You are Doing
Often, we find it difficult to focus on certain actions or tasks. When this happens, stop, and ask you why are doing what you are doing.
You might not like what you are doing, it might be boring you, or it could be against your best interests. In this case, consider whether you need to continue doing what you are doing, or maybe you need to stop and do something else, more useful or interesting.
When you’re trying to increase your attention span, you want to take a step back and ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. You need to know whether it is the right thing to do.
Are you simply following a schedule? Are you doing what is expected of you because it’s the easiest thing to do instead of the most rewarding?
8. Be More Disciplined
Discipline is another important trait that can help you increase your attention span.
Discipline is the ability to control your impulses and resist doing what is easiest instead of what’s most rewarding.
Discipline is simply choosing to do the right thing over doing what feels good.
Being disciplined doesn’t mean that you have to do the exact same thing every day. In fact, you can use discipline to make yourself do something new, interesting, and exciting.
Simply use discipline to help you reach your goals and make progress towards your dreams.
If you are looking for information on discipline, strategies and exercises, you will find them in our book Build Up Strong Willpower and Self Discipline.
9. Practice Concentration Exercises
Concentration exercises can help you focus your attention and keep yourself from getting distracted.
hey would train your mind to concentrate on one thing at a time, and improve your attention span.
In the same way that physical exercises strengthen your physical muscles, so concentration exercise strengthen your mental muscles.
It is obvious that we are dependent on our attention and concentration in everything you do. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to do many things in our lives.
It is simply up to us to make sure that we don’t let ourselves get distracted and take our focus away from the task at hand.
There are plenty of simple things that you can do to help yourself keep your attention span higher. Make sure to avoid multitasking, get rid of clutter in your workspace and avoid staying focused too long on social media.
Also, practice self-discipline and concentration exercises.