According to a study done by Microsoft Corp., humans typically lose concentration after about eight seconds. It gets worse–the goldfish has an attention span of nine seconds. Most likely, this is the effect on our brains from increased use of technology. Before technology was as prevalent as it is now, you may actually see a family chatting at dinner. Now, it’s more often you see a child playing video games on a hand-held device while parents are scrolling through the newsfeed on social media.
What if we realize our obsession with technology and want to go back to being able to read a book all the way through again? How can we try to increase the length of our attention span?
- Think of your brain as if it’s a muscle that needs to be exercised in order to stay in good shape. Doing puzzles and crosswords to help keep your wheels turning is beneficial.
- Music can be medicine for your brain. Type in “focus music” on YouTube, and it’ll give you a list of smooth, calm, instrumental songs. I personally recommend reading about binaural beats and listening while you’re focusing on a task.
- Believe it or not, you may be dehydrated if your attention span is lagging. Constantly drinking water is beneficial for all the functions of your body.
- You may be multitasking too often. With multiple screens open on your computer or cell-phone, you’re focusing on too many things at once. Try to focus in on one important thing at a time.
- Meditation has numerous health benefits. Part of the reason people meditate is to focus solely on. . . nothing. Releasing all the thoughts going through your head at one time can quiet your mind enough to start focusing again.
Simply being aware of the length of your attention span will help increase your focus on improvement. Remind yourself of your goal when you get sidetracked. With effort, maybe you can beat the goldfish.