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Got a Short Attention Span?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

April 19, 2013

Comments (3)

Bored school childrenMost of us can relate to being distracted.

There's so much competing for our attention these days, especially if we are connected to social media.

I wouldn't be surprised if you are distracted right now and are fighting the urge to check email, put the coffee on (again) or make a status update.

Short attention spans, it would seem, have become commonplace.

Is there an antidote?

Find out in today's VOX Daily.

Got a Minute?

Sound bites, video clips and teensy weensy tweets seem to dominate the day, feeding into the notion that we as a people have short attention spans and therefore need to be catered to as such.

Living like this is overwhelming and takes away from the things that truly matter.

I'm going to go out on a limb here. What if there really isn't such a thing as a short attention span?

Consider This

Regardless of age, I believe this speaks to us all:

"I no longer believe that a child has a short attention span. A child only has a short attention span when they're being forced to be engaged in something that doesn't have value to them." -Scottie May

When you ponder the statement above, you can see how this rings true.

Children, as well as grown adults, have the enormous capacity to focus when doing something they value and enjoy. When we perceive something to be relevant to our daily lives, it becomes valuable to us.

The Challenge

I believe we can reclaim our ability to focus for longer periods of time, even if some of our more prominent activities yield little enjoyment and delayed gratification.

One way to do this is through the objective prioritization of activities.

Try placing must do, urgent items at the top of your To Do list and then add less vital activities nearer the bottom. Doing so will help you strategically allocate your time and make it possible for you to prevail in your most important tasks. If you can find ways to make those important activities fun and highlight their relevancy, all the better!

In time, activities of lesser import will become less of a priority.

If those lesser priorities happen to be enjoyable, use them as a motivation to complete more important tasks and then reward yourself with fun, but lower priority activities like going on Facebook.

When we truly prioritize, we give the proper attention to the proper things at the proper time. No more multitasking! Insignificant things should not jeopardize what really matters.

How Do You Prioritize?

Do you want to accomplish more in your day?

If you have any tips you'd like to share on how you put first things first, I'd love to hear them.

Comment now with your thoughts!

Best wishes,
Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/Svetlana Braun

Related Topics: child


Comments


    Ciao Stephanie,

    I enjoyed your post, and thought that I may be of assistance to you, in relaying the message of the Importance of Prioritizing of one's Life or Day with a particular Task or Goal that they've set for themselves. So here's my take on the subject.

    When it comes to one’s Priorities in life? The Solution is very simple and easy to comprehend. However it will take some doing on one's own part, if its ever to be of any Real Effect in your Life.

    So with that said, allow me to make a few suggestions to you, that may perhaps, beneficial in Helping You to put first things first and get you through whatever it is that you're faced with much easier.

    For example in my own life, I was Taught a few Rules and some Key Fundamental Principles, which in turn was put into practice, because I was smart enough to put them to good use.

    1st and foremost You must know what you want in this life; then make a feasible Plan consistently everyday on how you are going to go about getting it, Period, bottom line. Look, when something is of importance to you, yet you have several other things that must be done as well? DO THE HARD THINGS FIRST!! And the rest will more often than not, will fall right into place.

    2nd Show some Discipline in all that you do, this will allow you to Focus more Clearly on the task at hand, that way your mind can stay more attentive to what you’re after, Regardless of any nearby Distractions.

    3rd Don’t try to do it all at one time…Since I’m Italian I’m gonna say it like this…Rome wasn’t Built in a Day! So Don’t bother wasting precious time, trying to do everything that you want to get accomplished in one shot, that would be foolish on your part. Besides doing will most certainly Cause you to have Distractions and loss of Interest in the Task at hand or any Goals you’ve set for yourself, Which is Exactly What You Don’t Want!!

    4th Once a Plan is in place, set aside a block of your day to work on it, and Do Nothing else!.. And I mean, Nothing Else! Remember Discipline is the key factor here; as well as Valuing one’s Time. Stick to whatever it is that you’re doing for that block of time, in order to get it Done!! Believe me this will get easier as you continue to practice this, but it does work.

    5th Be Relentless but Flexible… this will ensure that you don’t burn out or again loose interest in whatever it is that you’re doing, I say this because there is always more than one way to do things or to reach a Goal. It’s ok to take a different route or approach to a thing so long as the main objective stays firmly in the forefront of every Decision that you make.

    6th Move efficiently, which means Set a time limit that you are comfortable with, for each task that you’ve chosen to deal with, for the day. The value of one’s Time is of most importance!! Figure out how much time you can comfortable dedicate to a certain activity or function etc…and stick to that time. Doing this will force you to harness all of the skills in a way will make you be more proficient at completing the task or Goal for the day.

    7th Lastly learn to Think For Yourself!! This will Empower You to make more Decisive Decisions in your life, whenever you go to Prioritize certain things that matter most to you.

    Learn these rules and apply them to your life. Believe me, they have been proven to work for those of us, who like Accomplishing Things and Completing Goals or Tasks on Time in the most Efficient way Possible…

    just my thoughts. JTP


    Posted by:
    • JAVINNO PURICELLI
    • April 19, 2013 4:52 PM

      Thankyou Javinno, that's all so motivating and true. When I did building work, I learned how productive it was to rise with the sun and pitch straight into the task. Every extra hour slept away in the morning would put two on the end of the day.
      Like Stephanie, I believe in a To Do list to keep everything on the rails. The ticks look good and clear your mind. You can try two columns: Urgent / Important. That puts the soft 'n easy in its place, and gets the hard stuff finished. If you find a list daunting, fold it so you can only see the top three or four actions - enough for the day. It will soon get zigzagged to the bottom, you'll feel achievement, all psyched up to write a new one!

      Posted by:

        Gentlemen (and Stephanie) -

        This was a great post! I struggle quite a bit with focus on a daily basis. It isn't that I don't want to accomplish the tasks that I know face me...it's just that I'm very easily distracted. Believe it or not, at the age of 42, I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder!! That was quite an interesting discovery for me....but it made perfect sense to my wife and my mother! I will say that it didn't stop me from having a very successful 24 year career in the U.S. Navy, but it certainly made me work harder to get there.

        Anyway, you have both provided some very good information and tips that I will work to put into practice for myself starting today. I've recently discovered voice over work (although I've worked in radio for years) and am hoping to make it a fun and profitable part-time love affair. Who knows....with the motivational posts you provided, I might even be able to make it a full-time career someday! :)

        Thanks,
        Matthew A. Mann
        U.S. Navy (Retired)

        Posted by:
        • Matthew Mann
        • May 20, 2013 3:03 PM

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