Maintaining your attention can be challenging, especially in today’s world where distractions are everywhere and there are just so many things we need to handle and take care of.

Regardless of whether you are pursuing a goal, writing an article, drafting a report, or finishing a marathon, you need to maintain your focus and pay full attention to your task to get it done.

Your ability to maintain your attention will greatly impact your results. Do you know that most people fail to produce outstanding success in what they do because they lack attention?

According to this article, the estimates of the attention span of healthy teenagers and adults range from 10 to 20 minutes.

Hence, it is normal if your mind tends to wander off after working on a task for several minutes.

It is normal if you zone out, thinking about something else, or end up checking feeds on Facebook or Instagram while doing your work.

The key is to learn how to control your focus and bring your attention back to your work.

You don’t want to zone off and daydreaming about something else when you in a meeting, right?

Plus, if you want to produce outstanding work, you need to master your attention. You can’t let distractions take you away from performing at your best.

Imagine you are a blogger, like me, and one of your key tasks is writing articles. If your attention span is short and you are always distracted, it will be challenging to write a 1,000 words article.

And this doesn’t just happen to bloggers or writers, it can happen to any profession in any industry.

  • For professional athletes, they need to have undivided attention to perform at their best in the game.
  • For salespeople, they need to maintain their attention to deliver a great presentation so that they can convert their prospects into customers.
  • For students, they need to keep their attention so they can absorb and take in more when they are in the class.

Thus, your attention span is important. The more you can focus and the longer you can pay attention to your work at hand, the better you can perform.

So, here are a couple of tips on how you can maintain your attention and grow your focus to accomplish more success in life…

1. Get Rid of Distractions

This is the easiest and the most obvious step. If you want to maintain your attention and keep your focus strong, you need to get rid of distractions.

You don’t want to have your phone buzz when you are writing articles. It will take your attention away and you will want to check your phone.

This is an easy step, yet, most people don’t do it because they underestimate how many distractions they had, and they don’t take things seriously.

This article from Workplace Trends stated that an average of 2.1 hours is lost every day due to distractions. Not only that, but it also requires about 25 minutes to return to the task after a disruption.

Therefore, eliminate all possible distractions. This is especially important if you are working on your priority and tasks that give you the most results.

You want to pay full attention to working on your most important tasks.

2. Exercise

Yes, exercise helps grow your attention span. We all know that exercise is good, and it doesn’t just improve our physical wellbeing, it improves our mental power too.

This study from the University of Illinois discovered that physical activity boosts cognitive control. The researcher found that even simple walking can improve your attention span and boost your productivity.

Hence, make exercise your daily habit. Don’t make excuses that you don’t have time to do it.

And when you find that it is difficult to focus on your work, go and take a walk.

3. Stop Multitasking

Multitasking is a lie. You don’t get more done by multitasking, in fact, your productivity drops when you multitask.

It is not that you can’t multitask. You can’t focus on both things at the same time. This is why talking on the phone while driving causes accidents.

Try to write while talking, or read while watching a movie, you can’t do that. Your mind can only focus on one thing at a time. And when you try to divide your attention, your performance drops.

What really happens when you multitask is you are switching from one task to another, back and forth.

For instance, when you text your friend on the phone while watching a movie, you switch your attention from the movie to the text. When you text, you don’t pay attention to the movie.

This is why multitasking doesn’t work.

If you want to get more quality work done, stop multitasking, and start paying your full attention to the work that deserves it.

4. Practice Meditation and Mindfulness

Practice Meditation and Mindfulness

Mindfulness and meditation are hot right now. Some even considered meditation as one of the best ways to improve your focus because it is a kind of mental training to hold your attention.

In a study conducted by the University of California, undergraduate students who took a meditation class for 10 to 20 minutes four times a week scored higher memory tests and on exercises that require a higher attention span.

The same goes for mindfulness. You don’t need complicated techniques to practice mindfulness. What you need to do is to focus on deep breathing exercise.

Here’s a good way to start: Just take several deep breaths and focus on your breathing. When your mind wanders, bring it back and pay attention to your breathing.

Just repeat this exercise for a few minutes and do it a few times every day, and soon enough, you will see the result.

5. Take Short Breaks

Do you know that taking short breaks can improve your focus too?

Read: The Importance of Taking a Short Break According to Research

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that our attention span is about 10 to 20 minutes, hence, it is better to take a short break after we have poured in our attention on a task.

This is why the Pomodoro Technique works well. You focus on working at a task for about 30 minutes, and then you take a quick 5 minutes break. Keep taking short breaks to replenish your energy and refresh your attention.

6. Put on the Background Music

Too much background noise can be distracting. You can’t focus and read in a noisy environment. But when you play the right background music, it can improve your focus.

You have to make sure you choose the right music. If possible, try listen to music or songs without a lyric.

This is because if the music is with a lyric, it will make you want to sing along. And this causes distractions. You don’t want that.

Even while writing this article, I played soft background music to help me focus better.

If you want to learn more about how music can improve your productivity and raise your attention span, read this article:

The Science of Music and Productivity

7. Train Your Mental Power

Train Your Mental Power

Yes, there are certain activities and games you can play to improve your focus power.

For instance, games like sudoku, crossword puzzles, chess, jigsaw puzzles, memory games, scrambles, etc., are good to train your mental power and improve your attention span.

There was a study conducted in 2015. The study discovered that of all 4,715 adults who spent 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week, on brain training activities can have a big impact on attention span and focus power.

So, if you want to build a better attention span, involve yourself in these games and activities.

8. Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep can cause a huge disruption to your concentration. Not only that you will feel tired and sleepy, sleep deprivation lowers your ability to focus and decreases your capability to pay longer attention to what you do.

If you don’t get enough sleep for just one night, it won’t cause too much of a problem. But can you imagine what will happen if you don’t get enough sleep for years?

That will seriously affect your health and wellbeing. When you’re sleepy, you can’t concentrate, and it slows down your reflexes. As a result, your performance drops, and so with your productivity.

Hence, make sure you get enough sleep. On average, an adult requires 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day.

9. Get Hydrated and Drink Coffee

Another way to maintain your attention is to keep your body hydrated. Studies found that mild dehydration, as little as 2%, can negatively impact your level of concentration.

Mild dehydration won’t cause thirst, but it will gradually decrease your productivity and focus.

Keep yourself hydrated at all times. Place a full water bottle at your workstation. Remind yourself to drink water regularly.

10. Focus on the Small Steps

It is difficult to maintain your attention when what you’re trying to do is big and overwhelming.

Thus, the best way to tackle your tasks is to focus on the small steps.

Read: Why Start Small? The 5 Important Benefits of Starting Small

Working out in the gym can be daunting at times. Instead of looking at it as a big task, break it down into smaller and actionable steps:

  • Get change
  • Put on your sport shoe
  • Get your car keys
  • Get in the car
  • Drive to the gym
  • Etc.

After you list down all of the necessary steps, just focus on the first one that you can and should do right away. And in this example, just get change.

All you need to do is to change to your sports attire. And that’s all you need to do. How easy and simple is that, right?

When something is easy, simple, and requires less resistance, you will more likely to do it. With greater focus and attention, of course.

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Author

I'm a blogger, writer, and also an internet entrepreneur. If you want to learn more about me, kindly go to the About page. By the way, have you downloaded your FREE copy of Reach Your Goals? Don't forget to do so. Cheers. :)

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