“The average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish is nine seconds, but according to a new study from Microsoft Corp., people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds, highlighting the affects of an increasingly digitalized lifestyle on the brain.
Researchers in Canada surveyed 2,000 participants and studied the brain activity of 112 others using electroencephalograms (EEGs). Microsoft found that since the year 2000 (or about when the mobile revolution began) the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds.” May 14, 2015 Time article (You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish) by Kevin McSpadden
Did I lose you already?
Seriously, according to this study nearly three years ago, we suck at staying focused for very long.
I wonder what would happen if they did this study again today. My guess is that the average attention span would now be even shorter than 8 seconds.
Did someone say “Squirrel”?
This year, a group of entrepreneurs I hang with every other week has committed to becoming more focused in our entrepreneurial pursuits. Each of us has ordered Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner, and we are using it (along with the accountability in our group) to push forward with focus on the things we set out to accomplish in 2018.
I’ve always been a list driven person. And people generally know me as a disciplined person, so I was a little skeptical about the need for someone else’s system to keep me on track. I’ve been using Full Focus Planner for three weeks so far, and it’s been amazing to see my effectiveness increase.
In three weeks, I’ve made significant strides in my business pursuits, my entrepreneurial pursuits, and my personal pursuits. I’ve made significant steps forward in developing a mentor program at work. I’ve taken a big leap forward related to my book, Rooftop Reflections, and our family’s passion for Guatemala. I’ve kicked off a “Year of Discipleship” with my son. I’ve lost eleven pounds so far in 2018. And I’ve already read six books in 2018 (way ahead of my 2017 total). And these things just scratch the surface on what I’ve been able to accomplish so far in 2018.
In the midst of being focused, I’ve let a few things go. Some of these things are temporarily on the back burner, and some things may be permanently removed from my normal activity. You may have noticed, I’ve been absent from the blog world. I’m hoping this is temporary as I love the community here, but my time away was important in getting me focused on the things I really want to accomplish this year, this quarter, this week, and even this day. Generally, I’ve been getting to bed earlier this year. This has provided more opportunity for reading and for the rest I need to really be effective.
Are you still with me?
John Lee Dumas defines focus as “Focusing on One Course Until Success.” I get what he’s saying, but the reality is we have multiple things going on in our lives at the same time. The Full Focus Planner has helped me narrow my focus to a few things, and it’s helped me successfully progress towards success in multiple areas of my life.
Overall, I believe the Full Focus Planner has actually helped to increase my attention span.
As a result of an increasing attention span, I have more focus on getting things accomplished, I have more focus on cultivating relationships that really matter, and I have “jumped the goldfish”.
(To get 15% of your own Full Focus Planner, click here.)
How’s your span of attention? What has helped you stay focused? How would your life be different if you had more focus? Share your thoughts in the comments below.