May We Have Your Attention Please?

The six ways in which we can increase our attention spans.

04.01.22

By Kristin Kennedy - Brown

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As we leave the festivities behind and welcome 2022, we aim to set our undivided attention on our goals, wants and desires. A year beginning often brings with it a fresh focus, a selection of resolutions or intentions, and for some a series of new opportunities. As January hits we crave change, we want to achieve our goals, we intend to stick to our fitness resolutions, and we aim to remain focused. But that’s all easier said than done, right? Sometimes striving to achieve our objectives can leave us feeling as if our brain has a hundred tabs open. In times of information overload, we find our concentration diminishes and our focus wanders. Although daydreaming and mind wandering is at times great and can be very inspiring, it can additionally lead to unproductivity. In aiming to guide our minds to be more attentive and aware, we are improving our overall focus and boosting our sense of efficiency—and who doesn’t want that?

Below are a few tips on how to be more productive and steps to practise in order to increase your attention span on a day-to-day basis.

 

First things first, quit multitasking

Now we aren’t pointing the finger, we are absolutely ALL guilty of this. Our day-to-day schedules are busy and fitting in as much as possible often feels necessary. We tidy our flats as we rustle up dinner while our favorite podcast plays in the background. Stopping every now and then to attempt to respond to our untouched iPhone notifications. Life itself can be hectic and granted multitasking at times can feel super productive. All the while we didn’t burn the lasagne and our text responses deemed us somewhat interested—as we shift our focus between roles, we never have our full attention on each single task at hand. Did we actually have time to enjoy dinner or properly check in on a loved one? Multitasking often leads to a lower efficiency in completing our to-do lists, as well as resulting in stress and forgetfulness. Let’s start separating our work and social calendars, mapping out delegated time to each section of our to-do list, and aim to schedule in regular breaks to improve efficiency.

 

Don’t ditch your lunch break

Thanks to the pandemic, for most of us, more hours working from our kitchen tables has encouraged a decreased likelihood of us venturing outside on our lunch break. Work breaks should be vital structures within your working day. Whether it’s a cup of coffee in your backyard, a brisk ten minute dog walk, or a half an hour at home workout—it’s imperative you switch your mind to something else for a small period of time. This can help aid creativity, as well as regain clarity and focus. Overall it is a great strategy on how to become more productive at work. Here’s to NOT skipping your lunch break in 2022.

 

Remember the H20

Without intending to sound like your parents (apologies), staying hydrated really is crucial in maintaining focus. On the days we are struggling to drink two litres a day, get creative and add fruity flavourings such as sliced lemon, orange and cucumber, or crushed mint and fresh berries. By keeping your mind hydrated and alert you are bound to be increasing productivity.

 

Reach for the activewear

Delegate time for exercise, whatever your interpretation of exercise may be. Whether it’s a HIT workout, a quick coffee run, or your friend’s Pilates class you’ve been meaning to attend (hey, there’s a first time for everything), these are all great for boosting concentration and helping prevent creative block. A healthy mind and body can be a sure way on increasing your attention span and efficiency. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to give that cute new workout set a little airtime.

 

Mute the distractions

Pick a desired surrounding and press play on the album or podcast you’ve been wanting to listen to. Mute any other distraction or counter interaction and instead take time to focus on the lyrics and absorb the content.

Schedule in time in your day-to-day schedule for attentive reading—a great use of your lunch break or as a dose of downtime before bed.

 

Try out Meditation

In being mindful, we become fully immersed in the present moment. Through the art of meditation, we begin to observe our present thoughts and feelings without judgement. Practising mindfulness through meditation helps shut out distractions and maintain focus. It is also a great way to help handle stress.

Our favorite meditation app recommendations are Headspace and Breethe, both complete with a series of guided meditations, wind down exercises, and relaxing playlists.