by Remez Sasson
Everyone has things to do, tasks to complete, and chores to carry out. Sometimes, these are not tasks or chores you really want to do, but you have to do them. At other times, they might be things you want to do and enjoy doing.
The problem is that most of these tasks and chores, often, take too much time. They take too much time because you are not focused and your mind is often ‘hijacked’ by other things.
This has much to do with your attention span. Does your attention easily wander away? How long is your attention span? Can you measure it in seconds or minutes?
Most often, the attention span is too short.
If you had enough willpower and self-discipline, and could focus your mind, most things would have taken much less time, and would have been carried out more efficiently.
There are a lot of distracting factors that take your attention away and make you forget what you have set out to do. These distracting factors shorten your attention span.
No matter how interested you might be to carry out a certain task, there will always be something to pull your attention away. This wastes your time and your energy, preventing you from completing the task on time or at all.
Lets’ take one example, writing a letter, and find out what happens. The same distracting factors would be present in almost every situation.
- You sit in front of your computer or with a pen a paper, ready to start writing. You think how to begin your letter, and then, start writing. However, this does not last long.
- Do you suddenly feel an urge to check your email? If you check your email, you might find something interesting and start reading it, instead of focusing on the letter you are writing.
- The phone rings, you answer it and begin a conversation.
- You stop writing, to check your Facebook or Twitter account.
- You might hear someone gossiping, your curiosity arises, and you listen to him.
Sometimes, after writing a few sentences you might get bored and play a video game.
These are just a few examples of distracting factors that ‘hijack’ your attention, shorten your attention span, and prevent you from completing anything efficiently and on time.
The Attention Span
In this age of the Internet, email, cell phones, Facebook and other social media, the attention span is getting shorter. People are less patient than even a few years back. There is so much load of too much information, which the mind cannot handle. It learns to multitask and scan data, not going deeply into anything. This leads to short attention span.
This short attention span affects every action. People are stopping to live here and now. They live in a sort of virtual world, and this affects everything they do.
In an article, titled ‘Kids, Tech and Those Shrinking Attention Spans’ by Diana Graber, posted on www.huffingtonpost.com, she wrote:
“We hear it all the time — increased exposure to technology is rewiring our kids’ brains, making it tougher to reach and teach them. A Pew Internet survey of nearly 2,500 teachers finds that 87% believe new technologies are creating an “easily distracted generation with short attention spans” and 64% say today’s digital technologies “do more to distract students than to help them academically.”
Ty Kiisel wrote, in an article posted on forbes.com, titled, ‘Is Social Media Shortening Our Attention Span?’:
“It’s probably unfair to blame social media specifically, but I think it’s safe to say that the 24/7 media barrage of soundbites we face every day could be taking its toll.”
“Twitter users need to make their point in 140 characters or less, USA Today, Fox News and others have shortened stories to be quickly digested and even media outlets like CNN rely on the pretty faces of their news anchors to keep our attention. As a result any substantive conversation lasting over five minutes is met with glazed eyes and shuffling feet.
How to increase your attention span?
There are various things you can do to increase and improve your attention span. However, the basic, and most important are three things, about which I write extensively at my website:
There is no necessity of going deeply into these subjects here, since you can learn about them by reading my articles. I have also written books with advice, guidance and exercises to develop these most important skills.
Remez Sasson is the founder of Success Consciousness. He is the author of articles and books that teach how to use the power of the mind to create success and to improve one’s life, gain inner strength and inner peace, and live a better life.
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