How to Increase Attention Span: Exercises, Tips & Resources
No matter your line of work, a short attention span can be deeply problematic.
Imagine a situation in which your boss is outlining expectations for a new project, and your mind is wandering the whole time, causing you to miss key information and potentially underperform. Or, imagine a meeting with a client or customer in which you have a hard time focusing on the conversation at hand, preventing you from delivering personalized results. Such episodes are far from unlikely, especially with studies showing us that the human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds to eight seconds just since the year 2000.
Even if your job is mostly solitary and involves solo work at a computer, a short attention span may prevent you from being as efficient, as productive or as judicious with your time as you could be.
Short attention spans are often associated with children, but the reality is that many working professionals suffer from attention deficits. A number of physical and mental health issues can contribute to abbreviated attention spans, including poor diet, lack of exercise, and conditions such as depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The good news is that there are a number of resources and solutions available to those whose attention spans aren’t what they could or should be. In this guide, we’ll outline a few options for how to increase attention span.
Why is food for concentration important?
Let’s face it. It’s hard to stay focused when you’re hungry. Hunger leads to headaches, fatigue, and brain fog. When it’s time for a snack or meal, choosing foods that help with concentration is essential.
Food is the fuel that our body needs. Think of your body as a car. It needs fuel to operate at its highest potential. When your vehicle is out of gas (or when you’re hungry), you have to refuel to keep going. The better the fuel, the better the performance.
Dr. Uma Naidoo, psychiatrist and author, explained that food helps with concentration and mental health. In her book, This is Your Brain on Food, she talks about the direct relationship between the food we eat and how it helps address depression, anxiety, and trauma.