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How to Increase Attention Span: Proven Techniques to Adopt

A lower attention span is a ubiquitous problem today, which we can observe both from an individual and a social point of view. On the Internet, we are constantly surrounded by content that requires frequent shifts in focus amidst the abundance of information. With so much content, we need to quickly redirect our attention from one piece to another. If you notice that lately you have a problem with decreasing attention span, there are proven methods you can try to improve concentration and attention span. Stay tuned and reveal more below.

What Affects Attention Span?

Attention span refers to the length of time an individual can concentrate on a task without becoming distracted. It is a complex cognitive ability that involves the coordination of various brain regions.

Psychological processes, including attention span, are influenced by both biological determinants and external factors. From the biological side, neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine regulate attention. Structural brain changes, such as those seen in conditions like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), also affect attention span.

When it comes to external influences, factors like stress levels and sleep quality influence the attention span. Besides, factors like age and developmental stage can influence attention spans. Younger people typically have shorter attention spans than adults.

How to Increase Attention Span?

A lack of concentration can be improved with different techniques. These include maintaining a regular sleep schedule, engaging in regular physical activity, and practicing mindfulness, yoga, or meditation. Reducing distractions in your environment and breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable parts can also improve concentration. For more tips on how to increase attention span, we prepared a list of activities to improve attention and concentration:

Try Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques like mindfulness and meditation improve attention span by promoting a state of focused awareness of the present moment. These practices calm the mind and reduce distracting thoughts, which allows you to concentrate more effectively. Relaxation techniques also reduce stress and anxiety, which negatively impact attention span.

Limit External Distractions

Limiting distractions, such as social media and other forms of digital stimuli, can improve your attention span by reducing the cognitive load on your brain. When you are constantly exposed to notifications, messages, and updates, your brain must continually shift its focus, making it harder to maintain attention on a single task. By minimizing these distractions, you can create a more conducive environment for sustained focus and attention. This will result in better productivity and efficiency in completing tasks that require concentration.

If Possible, Avoid Multitasking

Avoiding multitasking allows your brain to focus fully on one task at a time. When you attempt to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, your attention divides. This leads to decreased performance and increased mental fatigue. By focusing on one task at a time, you can dedicate your full attention and cognitive resources to that task, which increases your attention span. 

Write Down Notes

When you take notes, you must focus on key points and organize information, which facilitates learning and its retention. This process requires sustained attention to the speaker or the topic being presented. The act of writing notes can serve as a form of external memory. That offloads cognitive demands and allows you to stay focused on the main content. This technique will help you improve your capacity to concentrate and retain information over time.

Improve Your Sleep Quality

During sleep, the brain consolidates memories, processes information, and clears out toxins. This process is essential for optimal cognitive performance, including attention. Sleep deprivation decreases attention span and concentration and increases distractibility. Adequate sleep is especially vital for the prefrontal cortex, the brain region responsible for executive functions like attention and decision-making. To improve attention span, it is important to prioritize sleep hygiene, which includes keeping a regular sleep schedule, planning a calming nighttime routine, and providing a comfortable sleeping environment. 

Natural Focus Boosters

Certain food supplements can improve attention span by providing nutrients that support brain health and cognitive function. In the first place, polyphenols. These bioactive compounds have neuroprotective effects and improve attention span by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain.

The following supplements can also help you improve your attention span:

  1. Green tea extract: Rich in polyphenols like catechin, green tea extract has been linked to improved focus and attention.
  2. Blueberry extract: Blueberries are high in polyphenols, particularly resveratrol, which have been shown to improve cognitive function and attention span.
  3. Bacopa monnieri: An herb traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine, bacopa monnieri has been studied for its potential to enhance memory and attention.
  4. Rhodiola rosea: This adaptogenic herb may improve focus and attention by reducing fatigue and enhancing mental clarity.
  5. Ginkgo biloba: A well-known plant extract that increases blood flow to the brain and thus enhances cognitive performance.


Frequently Asked Questions


Is lack of focus always ADHD?

No, a lack of focus is not always indicative of ADHD. While ADHD is characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, there are many other factors that can contribute to focus issues. These may include sleep deprivation, stress, anxiety, depression, numerous health conditions, certain medications, and different lifestyle factors. 


What exercises teach focus?

In order to improve focus, it is often necessary to engage in activities that require sustained attention and concentration. These activities include meditation, mindfulness practices, and yoga, which implies being present in the moment and focusing on breathing or body movements. Brain activities that involve problem-solving, such as puzzles, crosswords, and memory games, also improve focus by engaging your cognitive skills. Additionally, activities that require hand-eye coordination and precision, such as playing a musical instrument or video games, can enhance your ability to maintain attention to specific tasks.

Here you can find ideas for activities for improving overall mental health