Did you know that your attention span is decreasing? In 2000 it was around 12 seconds. Today, according to a study by Microsoft in 2018, the average human being now has an attention span of eight seconds. This means apparently, our attention span is one second less than a goldfish. While I do question the relevance of comparing us to a goldfish, nevertheless, a reduction of four seconds in our attention span is a significant drop.
The definition of attention span is:
The amount of concentrated time a person can spend on a task without becoming distracted.
In a world of high pressure and increasing demands, what we really need is a longer attention span. Moreover, we need new ways to keep focussed and effective. We need different tools to help us hack our brains and learn how to be productive. Furthermore, in our digitally-driven world, we have notifications and alerts bombarding us constantly. Not surprisingly, it’s easy to understand why we get easily distracted, and our productivity has fallen. Moreover, procrastination, the thing we do so easily is a massive time waster and the enemy of prolific output.In a world of high pressure and increasing demands, what we really need is a longer attention span. Click To Tweet
How to be productive when our attention span is falling?
With attention decreasing, increasing pressures, demands and obligations on our time at an all-time high, it’s easy to see why so few people have the time and energy to focus on their personal goals. Most people are in full swing doing what is necessary just to fulfil everyday duties. Ultimately, however, everything in life is energy. For this reason, it means part of success today is more about energy management. Similarly, the energy of the mind is attention, so when you lose focus you leak energy. Achieving greater levels of focus is the key to wasting less time and getting more done.
Perhaps you have heard the following two quotes? “What you focus on expands,” and, “You get what you concentrate on.”
A favourite of mine comes from the seven principles of Huna philosophy – MAKIA
“Energy flows where attention goes” – Huna Philosophy
For the reason that energy flows where attention goes, how this relates to your working day is simple. When you deliberately focus on one thing, your energy is intensified to a greater degree. You are more likely to finish your project sooner. Furthermore, the quality will probably be of a higher standard. When your mind is scattered between several projects, your energy is all over the place and it takes time to re-focus. Because you are prone to distraction every eight seconds, failure to get back on track or complete your current task is even harder. Developing good habits for your work is an essential part of being more productive and increasing output. Furthermore, finding the habits that become your keystone habits will prove even more helpful.When you deliberately focus on one thing, your energy is intensified to a greater degree. Click To Tweet
You will always be prone to be affected by your environment
While there will always be distractions, by practising the skill of focus, you can learn to avoid many of them and stick to what is really important. The more you pay attention to focussing and the more you steer your mind back to the task at hand, the greater will be your output. Above all, this is key to how to be productive and avoid eight-second syndrome.
There are many ways to keep focused and productive. Examples include planning your day, prioritising, scheduling tasks, breaking your day into time blocks, and keeping your goals at the front of your mind. Moreover, I have created a program dedicated to teaching you exactly how to double your focus and breakthrough to the next level of success in your business. However, to start with the basic skill of working your mind to build attention and focus, here is a different strategy.
However, try this unusual technique to becoming productive more oftenThis technique helps you build your mental muscle and increases your attention. Click To Tweet
- Before you go to sleep at night, dwell on the events of the day in reverse order. Yes, reverse order! Focus your attention on the last thing you did, e.g., getting into bed.
- Next, run your day backwards through each event until you reach the first event, i.e, getting out of bed.
- Notice how far you get through this exercise before your mind wanders off. At first, it may only be a few seconds. However, gradually, when you persist and practise regularly, your attention span will increase. The question, how to be productive, can be solved by committing to this simple discipline.
Giving your brain a workout is an essential key to longevity and maintaining your health. ‘Use it or lose it’ applies to your brain just as much as to your body. And you don’t need me to tell you of the benefits of physical exercise, do you?
Remember, your mind is a muscle. It needs discipline, consistency with using the above strategy and any other techniques you employ. Even more important is to be kind to yourself. You are a human being not a human perfect. So when you have a wobble or fall back into your old habits, simply get back on the track, pick up where you left off and continue.
This is how to be productive, increase output and avoid that eight-second syndrome.
About the Author
- If you are looking to discover how to do the things you know you should but don’t, grab a copy of my free PDF guide Your Winning Mindset
- To boost your productivity and learn powerful Mindset strategies for focus and success, check out the new online supported program, Get Breakthrough Results
- For online programs and FREE Mindset Tips check out the Mindset for Success Academy
- To be consistent in the area of food and eating, or even shedding a few kilos, I have researched and written a short report on three ways to free yourself from the agony of dieting.