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5 Easy Ways to Improve a Short Attention Span for Greater Productivity

Increase a short attention span at work

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels

If you’re a small business owner, you know how important it is to manage your time. However, even with the best time management skills, you may still struggle with managing your short attention span.

According to one study, the average attention span for a human is just 8 seconds — shorter than that of a goldfish!

Do you often find yourself staring at the computer without the ability to simply get started with the next task? Are you often distracted at work by social media or your favorite e-commerce website?

In this article, we share some important tips for helping you improve your short attention span, so you can focus on what you need to get done and move forward with your day.

1. Start a Regular Meditation Practice

Did you know that, according to a study done at the University of California at Santa Barbara, students who meditated for 10-20 minutes four times a week reported improved attention spans and test-taking abilities?

Meditation quiets and disciplines your mind, so you can sustain longer periods of focus without getting distracted by your internal chatter. Think you don’t have time to meditate? If so, you probably need meditation even more than less busy people to calm your mind. It will also do wonders for your overall well-being and mental health.

2. Eat Healthy Foods and Stay Hydrated

If your body is feeling hungry or thirsty, it will definitely let you know – but not necessarily in the form of a gurgling stomach or a parched tongue. Instead, you may start to lose focus or make frequent mistakes because your mind isn’t working to its full potential. When you’re eating healthy foods and staying sated, your body and mind work more efficiently.

Try foods with a low glycemic index, such as:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Dried fruit like apricots or prunes
  • Dark chocolate
  • Fresh vegetables dipped in low-fat dressing
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Natural, low-sodium beef jerky
  • Chickpea snacks

You’ll begin to feel a difference almost immediately.

3. Incorporate Productivity Tools

Another hack to improve your attention span is to cut down on the number of time-consuming tasks you need to do on a day-to-day basis. This will free your brain up to focus on projects that really matter and give you energy. In addition to our favorite inbox tool, FollowUp, here are a few more productivity tools to help you stay on track:

  • Asana for project management
  • Jilt for organizing larger email marketing projects
  • Spacetime for coordinating among remote teammates
  • Calendly (also for scheduling)
  • Zendesk Sell for improving sales management

Test the one(s) you think might be right for you and your business.

4. Listen to Appropriate Music

music to improve a short attention span

Photo by Stas Knop from Pexels

Did you know that the music streaming service Spotify has an entire category of playlists devoted to “Focus”? If you work more efficiently when you’re listening to music as opposed to sitting in silence, then you may want to explore some new songs and artists.

Experiment with what makes you feel the most motivated and then make your own playlists based on tasks and projects you need to accomplish.

5. Take a Power Nap

For some, napping may seem like a waste of time, but it can actually help you feel even more productive once you wake up refreshed. Instead of staring at your computer screen or other task ahead of you, feeling tired and asking yourself, why can’t I concentrate? — consider taking a 20-minute nap to rest your eyes and your mind. Many people feel guilty about taking breaks throughout the day, but your breaks can actually help you get more accomplished.

What are some of your favorite ways to reset your short attention span?

Add them below in the comments section. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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