Trouble Paying Attention? Try These Tips!
By Genevieve Cunningham
Paying attention is hard. When we think about attention spans (especially short ones), we usually think of little children who squirm and wiggle in their seats. But the truth is that kids and adults alike struggle with paying attention. We can only take so much -- and when our attention has been used, we often have nothing left to give. So what can we do? How can we continue to pay attention when it's necessary -- even when it feels like every last ounce of focus is used up? If you need help paying attention in your everyday life, take a look at these tips.
No one has an extremely long attention span. We think that we do, but almost every person's attention span taps out at 45 minutes or less. And for kids, it's much smaller! If you're sitting and staring at something for hours on end with no break, your brain is going to rebel. Instead, work in small increments, and allow yourself a break to reset. Work for 20 minutes, and then take a water break. Work for 30 minutes, and then walk to the restroom. Paying attention in small increments is so much easier. Work with your mind instead of against it, and you'll get way more done.
Deal With Basic Needs
If you're trying to work but your stomach is growling, you won't be able to pay attention. Super thirsty? Not a chance of focusing. Deal with your basic needs -- eat, drink, and use the restroom -- before you ever sit down to work. It can also help to make sure you're comfortable with the room temperature and in your clothing. If you're not consumed with your own needs or discomforts, it's easier to stay on task.
For some people, it's normal distractions that keep them from paying attention. If you can't stop looking at your phone, put it away. If you can't stop browsing the internet, close everything except for work sites. If you can't stop talking to coworkers, work by yourself. The more you eliminate the distractions around you, the better you'll be able to pay attention, and the more you'll accomplish on a daily basis.
It can be hard to pay attention and focus for long periods of time. School, work, projects -- these things need our focus! Use these tips to improve your ability to pay attention, and you may find more success in your life and more momentum moving forward.
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