My attention span has never been good. I had a hard time concentrating in long classes and lectures and long trainings and work calls would have me zoning out.
But in the past 3 years it’s gotten increasingly worse. With the TL;DR culture, tweets in 280 words or less, TikToks in under a minute – I just can’t focus on long tasks or even conversations. I can’t even watch TV without opening an app on my phone.
It hurts my listening skills, relationships, and ability to work. I find myself struggling to stay engaged in work calls that go over 30 minutes or to interact in conversations I don’t have a stake in. So I decided to put together a list of things to implement in my daily routines that can also sharpen my mind.
- Play more scrabble/bananagrams – being forced to think in a fun way will be helpful to me and also provide me time without technology.
- Suck on a hard candy without breaking it with my teeth – I’m so guilty of this, but if you suck on it for a long time it forces you to concentrate on an activity and not just mindlessly chew it.
- Doodle or color for 20 minutes – another activity without technology. Maybe I can listen to music in the background or even a podcast.
- Read more – I’ve always called myself a reader when in reality I stopped being an avid reader a long time ago. I have a hard time concentrating when reading, and although audio books are more convenient, I want to try to actually read more.
- Focus on blinking less for 3 minutes – take just three minutes to actively think about something like blinking and try not to do it too often.
- Create a distraction to-do list – when something comes up in my mind while I’m already doing something, I can simply write that task down to come back to at another time.