How to become more attentive with your toys
Posted On July 27, 2021
When it comes to attention, there’s one simple solution: Train yourself to be more attentive.
A new study suggests you can boost your attention span by using a variety of tasks that encourage you to pay attention.
Read moreRead moreAbout three-quarters of adults in the United States report having trouble concentrating on tasks that require focus, according to a survey conducted by research company eHealthIQ.
While most of us can tolerate a few hours of sitting quietly while our brains work, research shows that people can be fatigued or even burn out quickly.
A study published in PLOS ONE found that people who spend more time working on tasks such as spelling out a sentence, typing up a spreadsheet or completing a list of tasks are able to achieve higher performance levels.
These findings suggest that engaging in repetitive tasks like writing a memo, organizing a spreadsheet, or completing an online task can boost our attention spans, and help us focus longer and more accurately on the tasks we’re doing.
In the study, participants took a test that measured their attention span.
The task was to type out a short sentence or paragraph that would require them to focus on a specific object, such as a letter or an object in a specific location.
The tasks were designed to elicit the same kind of mental focus that we experience when we’re working on our homework.
The results showed that people with higher levels of mental effort and focus were able to maintain a consistent concentration level throughout the task.
When they took the test, people with high levels of attention span had a greater ability to maintain their attention across the task and were able continue to work at their own pace throughout the test.
“The research indicates that people need to be able to work on a task that requires a lot of concentration to maintain focus over the long term, which is an important goal,” study researcher Dr. Laura M. Williams, a psychology professor at the University of Iowa, said in a statement.
“We believe these findings could help improve attention span and help individuals who are struggling to stay focused on their task.”
This study also revealed that there are ways that people may be able boost their attention spans through the use of certain cognitive tasks, such a task-oriented typing and math tasks.
While these tasks may seem like the easiest way to boost your mental effort, researchers say that they may actually make things harder.
The most common reason people find themselves struggling with mental work is that they have difficulty focusing on tasks at a quick pace, said Williams.
The researchers found that cognitive tasks that focus attention on one task over another tend to require more cognitive resources, such that people tend to work harder and spend more of their attention on tasks they’re more comfortable with.
The study’s findings also suggest that people could benefit from more cognitive exercises to help them get more out of their tasks.
These cognitive exercises, which can include reading aloud, playing video games or using visual cues, can also help people maintain a more consistent concentration across the tasks they perform.
While there are a variety to choose from, these cognitive exercises may be a great way to increase your attention spans.
They’re just a start, however.