Written by Maria Foster and contributed by Brainfall
If you are looking for ways to improve your attention span and comprehension, these 5 Tips on Improving your Attention Span contributed by Brainfall are for you!
More and more, there are rising complaints about the inability to focus. An article in NewStatesman reported a 300% increase in people using the searching terms “how to get your brain to focus” and a 110% in “how to focus better,” and a 60% rise in searches using “how to increase focus”. So if you are looking for ways to improve focus, you are not alone! We’re bombarded with content everywhere we (virtually) go, which devastates our productivity and efficiency, and the stress and anxiety of COVID-19 only add to the problem.
Even though this is a major problem in today’s society, there are quick and easy ways to improve focus and the use of video-based content is part of the solution We’ve prepared 5 tips that aim to improve your attention span when paired with educational video content, so let’s get straight into it:
Take educational/skill-building quizzes
Our attention becomes sharper if we’re having fun, so before you start diving into 1-hour educational videos, you may want to try a couple of short skill-building quizzes. Basically, the interactivity of quizzes will keep you occupied, as you’ll have an active role in terms of self-reflection, so don’t worry too much about the end results.
As a K12 teacher, you may consider creating educational videos in a quiz or Q&A format, while adding supporting visuals that tie in with each question. SchoolTube offers a built-in quiz creator app and screen recording app, so creating a quiz-based educational video is simple on SchoolTube.
The main benefit of taking multiple short and educational quizzes is that you’ll get to improve your attention span in small bites. You can perceive these quizzes as a virtual crash-course for future educational videos that may or may not be as fun to watch in one sitting.
Meditate between videos
Meditation is unequivocally the best way to improve multiple aspects of your lifestyle, attention span included. Most people who’ve never tried it are faced with misconceptions – it’s not hard, there are no rules per se, and anyone can do it anytime, anywhere.
Let’s say that you’re about to watch an IT video that should teach you a new programing language. The thickness of the technical jargon that you’re probably not too familiar with will invariably lead your thoughts astray, so you may end up scrolling Facebook or your Instagram pages before you know it.
Whenever you notice that your focus is about to break, take a deliberate pause and meditate. Find a comfortable spot in your room, relax your brain and muscles, and simply breathe. The gist of meditating is that you shouldn’t think about anything, but that’s sadly the hardest part.
Meditating will allow you to recenter yourself, calm your brain and allow it to focus on the information being presented.
Read in your pastime
Reading has been scientifically proven to be one of the most effective means to substantially enhance your concentration and attention span. The small letters demand focus while the content aims to pull the reader into its universe, so basically, this is a win-win situation.
Turning on Closed Captions is a great way to add reading to watching a video. Try it. It is almost impossible to not read along as the video is playing. By activating captions you get audio and visual input of the subject -hear the words, see the words, see the images. According to the Caption Cool site, watching captions during a 30-minute video is like reading 300 pages of a 5th-grade level book! For more on this concept, check out Caption Cool
Most children aren’t too keen on the idea of studying, which follows them throughout their teenage years and early adulthood, so if you haven’t caught onto this hobby yet, the chances are that your mind is mistaking reading with chores you didn’t particularly like when you were younger. Reading to children at a young age, and creating family book time, is a great way to build and encourage reading skills.
Practice making mental notes
The core of ADHD-based problems resides in our subconsciousness. Simply put, our brain is giving us subtle cues that something else needs to be done at this very moment, and we immediately react to these impulses without giving them too much afterthought.
A good way to counter them is to use your conscious brain to intercept them with mental notes. There are numerous ways you can handle this approach – some people kick the tire of their car to confirm that they’ve locked it, others sing a verse from a song before turning on the stove.
The essence of this tip is to deliberately perform any kind of action and mentally accept it as a note of confirmation that you’ve done something or need to do something in the next few minutes.
Our subconscious mind is often not in synergy with its conscious counterpart and will propel us to act and think in ways we normally wouldn’t. Distractions do all but help such issues and act as triggers for the subconsciousness.
Furthermore, we all have at least a couple of habits that come to light under very specific circumstances – for example, checking Facebook as soon as we wake up, lighting a cigarette with our morning cup of coffee, turning the TV on even though we won’t watch it, and so on.
These habits are perfectly harmonious with the many distractions we have in our everyday life; even though addressing our habits and reinventing our lifestyle patterns can be fairly hard, minimizing our daily distractions should be much easier.
For instance, turning off your phone before you get down to watching any educational video will immediately boost your productivity and attention span. Preparing coffee after you’ve finished watching will also delay a handful of the triggers. There are many ways to outmaneuver our tricky selves into being more productive and efficient at what we do.
We hope this guide was useful to you – stay safe, guys!
About the author: Maria Foster
A poet, a writer, and a full-time RVer. Loves fishing with her four-legged friend. She grew up in Alberta with her parents and decided to start RVing through Europe 2 years ago. Maria dreams of moving to India and wants to spend at least a few years there 🙂