Welp, it’s official. I don’t have an attention span any more. It’s gone the way of Zubaz, Friendster, and the Dodo.
I don’t want to be the person who can’t sit still for more than ten minutes and won’t read things without bullet points! I don’t want my instant reaction to a tough bit of code, an unpleasant email or some uneditable writing to be “Ugh. Has anything popped up in Google reader? I’m going to see if anyone has responded to my latest hilarious facebook update!” Puke.
8 ways to increase your attention span
Meditation has been scientifically proven to make you calmer, more focused and less likely to be depressed. Simply set the timer on your phone for five minutes, sit with you back against the wall, close your eyes and actively empty your mind. Ommmm-chanting and incense-burning not required!
Need a bit of help? Try the Calm app. Its free guided meditations are great for beginners!
Do a bit of physical activity
We’ve all heard it a million times – physical activity makes you happier, calmer, more focused and generally more awesome. You don’t have to join a gym or do a Gillian Michael’s caliber workout to see the effects! A ten minute walk through the park, a few rounds of sun salutations or even just a dance break can do wonders.
Sometimes when I’m feeling listless, sleepy or unfocused, I’ll pull up the She Wolf video, put it on repeat, and dance around the kitchen for 10 minutes. PROBLEM SOLVED.
Set a timer
Have you heard of the Pomodoro technique? That ish will change your life. The crux of it is this: set a timer for 25 minutes and then do one thing for those 25 minutes.
When the timer dings, you get a five-minute break to do whatever you want, then you set the timer again and keep going. And no multitasking! Here’s another variation on this technique that uses boredom as a motivator.
Do five more
Limit your screen time
Have a snack
Think of happy stuff
If you can’t concentrate because half of your brain is obsessing over your botched work presentation or that thing your frenemy said, take a break and think of good stuff.
Look at the sky for two minutes. Check out Pumpkin The Racoon’s Instagram feed. Send a sweet email to a friend. Write down all the different ways you can deal with that thing that’s bugging you and then imagine you’re pushing that problem out the door and turning your key in the lock.
Wifi-free coffee shops
Stick with good ol’ fashioned, non-wifi internet at home
Seriously. I know that coffee makes some people jittery and insane, but for me it’s Liquid Ambition.
How’s your attention span? Any tricks to share?
P.S. The Art of Doing