The human brain is incredible - it taught us everything we know, and it even got us to the moon and back. It figured out how to build vast pyramids, and it discovered the cure for many diseases. The power of the human brain is endless.
But it also can’t stay focused for almost half of our waking hours. According to a study by Harvard, we can only concentrate on what we’re currently doing for a little over half of the time that we’re awake (53.1%). The rest of the time, our brains wander off somewhere else.
It may seem normal since everyone experiences it. Digital technologies such as social media are mostly a welcome distraction, and are certainly a powerful pull that distracts us all as we do a quick check to see who’s posting what. However, a short attention span may sometimes indicate an underlying psychological disorder like ADHD, anxiety, and depression.
Fortunately, there are ways to improve your attention span, and here are some of them.
Chew some gum
Surprised? Well, don’t be. Studies show that chewing gum when you’re on the verge of losing concentration can help you get back on track. It can improve your attention and increase your alertness, as the act of chewing itself sends signals to your brain that some nutrients are coming. And an added benefit is that gum can also reduce hunger pangs! While chewing gum doesn’t have a lasting effect, it’s a quick fix to stop your mind from wandering when you need to pay attention – such as when you’re reviewing an important report or counting inventory for a stocktake. So, grab your favourite gum now and see for yourself.
The ability to multitask is a quality that many people – especially women – possess. Unfortunately though, while we all may think it’s a great way to increase efficiency, it may actually cause more errors leading to rework, which may mean you actually take longer than you would if you did those tasks separately. For example, drafting an email and attending a Zoom presentation at the same time. In this case, you’re neither “here” nor “there” - you’re not entirely concentrating on either activity, and by dividing your attention you have the additional risk of making an error.
When you feel like you’re losing concentration, take a deep breath and meditate. Meditation is one of the most traditional methods to keep your focus - and it’s also one of the best. Think of it as attention training for your brain. Similar to the effects on your muscles from training with weights, meditation conditions our brains to stay focused and keep our attention for a longer span. Also called mindfulness training, a study revealed that it reduces distracting thoughts, thereby improving cognitive performance.
Take good care of your health
If you ever feel like you’re losing focus because you’re not in the best of health, that may be due to a lack of exercise, good nutrition, or a good night’s sleep. We know it can be hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle because of the hustle and bustle of daily life. We’re all busy working, and it’s easy for our health to simply take a back seat, leading to a loss of concentration. But regular exercise, a healthy diet, and good nights' sleep are all proven and effective ways to improve attention span. In fact, exercise can even aid in the treatment of ADHD. So, try to prioritise your health and kick-start those healthy habits today.
Your environment dramatically impacts your attention span more than you know, so if you need to concentrate on something important, get rid of anything that’s distracting. Turn down the noise if you can, and as hard as it may seem, put your phone away from you - because that is where most of those distractions are probably coming from.
Everyone’s mind wanders now and then, and improving your attention span can be challenging to many. These tips can definitely help but bear in mind that a loss of concentration could also be related to an underlying medical condition. If that’s the case you should seek professional help, and if you need some additional funds to cover the bill, we’re here to assist. Just take a look at our cash loans up to $5,000 to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, the cash is usually in your bank account within a few hours – so you can get your concentration back on track as soon as possible.