The Art of Focus: Boosting Attention Span

The human mind can conquer planets, build monuments, heal diseases yet it cannot go five minutes without checking that app, perhaps Facebook?

In a study conducted under lab conditions where students were asked to focus on something important, it was found:

"Regardless of age, students were able to stay focused and attend to that important work only for a short period of time — three to five minutes — before most students self-interrupted their studying to switch to another task." (The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World)

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So focus, is a lost art. How do we master it? Quick pointers:

1. Stop multi-tasking: we can never truly multi-task, what we do is time-slicing; juggling between tasks really fast (think of talking on phone while playing a game). But this makes what you are doing error-prone and taxing on the mind.

2. Exercise: You know it's good for the body. Guess what? Your brain's part of the body. (Shocking, I know.)

3. Meditate: Prayers and meditation help train your mind to focus and control your thoughts.

4. Be in touch with nature: focusing on the beauty around you like trees and fields (or their pictures) helps steady your thoughts and boost attention span.

5. Reduce interference: Make your environment as boring as possible when trying to focus, keep your phone and laptop away. Extend the time between breaks to build your attention muscles.

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