Our concentration is in a danger zone.
Bruce Morton, a researcher at the University of Western Ontario teaches us that our brains get hungrier as they get more information. A British study concerning the use of gadgets teaches us that we change from tool (pc, mobile, tablet) more than 21 times … every hour!
A Canadian study of Microsoft revealed an even more dramatic situation: our attention span (the time we are able to stay focused) has fallen over the past 16 years from 12 seconds to 8 seconds, a full second shorter than the attention span of a goldfish.
We are so obsessed with portable technology, social media and the abundance of information that we experience difficulties focussing for a longer period of time. We check our emails while watching a television program in the evening. This multitasking is not the solution, on the contrary, it is the problem. If we want to regain our grip on our job, on our priorities, it is necessary to become an expert at single-tasking. This will result in more job satisfaction. More attention, more focus, more permanent results, more satisfaction.
5 tips to train our attention:
- Daily planning: the better you plan your day, the more focus you will experience. Be rigorous: write your plan on paper in the morning morning and respect the plan during the day. You will experience more job satisfaction. Do you work in a disturbing environment? Book a meeting room for the tasks that require a lot of your attention or plan homework if possible.
- Regular exercise: more and more we spend our day in a sitting position and this has a negative impact on our attention. Exercise regularly, put your car a little further, go around the block at lunch, take the stairs Yes, even to the 5th floor 🙂
- Breaks: In our early days at school, we learned to take regular breaks. We forgot about this and we keep going during the day, from one task to the next meeting. A short break, a quick walk outside, a cup of tea will have a very positive impact on our attention and focus and we will be fully recovered for the next task at hand (in each of the examples without at the same time going through our mails of course).
- Limit disturbances: Plan also a couple of times to answer your emails. Don’t let new incoming mails distract you over and over.
- Breath: Breath? Of course we breathe anyway! But be aware that our breathing has a direct link with the coherence in our brain. Our breathing is available to us at all times. Put your focus on the in-and out rhythm of your breathing and you will feel more focused and relaxed on the spot! During our coachings we use this link to learn to maintain your peace of mind during a busy working day.
Good luck and let’s beat that goldfish!