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Hugh: What Grade Would You Give Your Attention Span?

Written by on May 15, 2024

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It seems like it’s easier and easier to get distracted in a fast-paced, technology-driven world, but are our attention spans actually getting shorter? According to some studies, yes. In 2004, one experiment measured average attention on a screen to last two and a half minutes. Now, the same method found people’s attention span on one screen to be down to 47 seconds. Being unable to focus on a specific task makes people less productive, not only because they are regularly distracted, but even more so because of the extra time it takes them to re-focus on the task. So, what can we do to increase our attention spans? One tip is to stop trying to multitask. When we try to do more than one thing at once, unless one operation is automatic like walking or chewing, we are actually switching our attention very quickly between the two or more things. You can also try to remove distractions, like removing desktop icons for social media while trying to complete a work or school task. Making a list of things you need to do can help organize your thoughts and accomplish them more efficiently. Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is take a break. If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, a 20-minute walk outdoors can help you reset and re-focus.

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