According to research, humans have an average attention span of 8 seconds. Yes, I was surprised as well when I found this little piece of information online. I guess it’s not just me then, everyone can get easily distracted ! We’re only humans !
So what can we do to stay more focused, whether it’s when you’re working, studying, or even just having a conversation with someone ?
- Stay grounded. As in, use physical things to keep you in the present, to keep your attention to what you’re currently doing. It can be a mug of tea or coffee that you’re sipping as you’re talking with someone, it can be the soft rhythm of the keyboard as you type (as I’m doing now). It can be an anti-stress ball, a pen you’re holding, whatever works for you. It’s okay if you play with it as long as it keeps you grounded right where you are, with what you’re currently doing.
- Take breaks. It might sound counter-productive, but the more you push your brain to stay focused for a long period of time, the more its capacities will decline over time. It’s like swimming, you have to come up for air if you intend to keep going. So take breaks when you’re working or studying, it will help your brain breathe better. Of course, if you’re in the middle of a conversation, it might be more complicated, but I guess you can still go to the toilets to have a little break when it gets too hard to focus haha.
- Be organized, keep things simple. If you need to focus on something, make sure to make the process as easy as possible. Don’t start and realize then that there are things you should have prepared beforehand, because that’s the best way to waste time doing something else just because of a lack of preparation/organization, and thus messing up the planning you had in mind.
- Identify your own distractions and avoid them. Everyone has their own distractions – it can be a pet, a child, if you’re at home, or I can assume for most people : your phone. Define your own distractions, and learn to avoid them. Find ways to avoid them. I know that my main distraction is my phone, so when I really need to focus, I just put it far away from me. It can be on my bed while I’m at my desk, or in another room if need be. I know it’s not always as easy as that, of course, but what can I say, just do your best.
- Try music. On this one, it really depends from one person to another. Even though I love music, I know that I’m more productive when all is perfectly silent (which is a pity, really), but I know that some people can be super focused while listening to classical music for example. Try it, try different kinds of music, and see if that helps you or not. If you’re working in a big open space for example, this might actually help you a lot since open spaces can easily get noisily.
What do you think ? Are there things from this list that you’re already doing ? Did you find something to try ? Feel free to let me know in the comments ~
I hope you are all having a lovely day, and see you next Wednesday !