When you think about what your most precious resource is, you might say money or even time. Yet an author recently proposed a different resource that you may be overlooking: your attention. With so many distractions in modern life, attention has become important. How often have you intended to focus on a TV show, but found your phone in your hand? Or put off your to-do list in favour of something that seems far more exciting?
Losing your attention can be annoying on a day-to-day basis. It may mean you don’t do everything you want or affect your enjoyment of activities if your mind is elsewhere. These distractions can add up and affect your longer-term plans and goals too.
Distractions have always had an impact, but today it’s far easier to distract yourself than ever before. All you need to do is pull out your phone to catch up on the news, scroll through social media, or even stream a film. And, of course, your phone isn’t the only distraction in your home. As well as material items, it’s just as easy for your mind to wander when you should be giving something your full attention.
There are many reasons for creating distractions. You may be putting off doing something or fear missing out. On top of this, we’ve become used to multi-tasking. While that can be useful in some scenarios, it can be a challenge to give something the attention it deserves.
5 ways to improve your attention
1. Pinpoint why you lose attention
Your first step should be to figure out why your attention slips. Is it because you’re worried about something or trying to put off a task? Knowing why you’re not giving something your full attention can mean you’re able to make a meaningful change.
If you find distractions mean you don’t achieve everything you want, a to-do list can be incredibly helpful. It can help keep you on track and leave you feeling more accomplished at the end of the day. A to-do list may include things like completing work tasks or household chores, but, if you struggle to carve out dedicated time for the things you enjoy, make these part of the to-do list too. That could include spending time with your family without technology distractions or dedicating an hour to reading a good book.