increasing your attention span

By December 2, 2010Leadership

Here are tips on improving your attention span from a recent Harvard Business Review article.  If you’ve already stopped reading, then this is especially for you.

1.Do the most important thing first every morning, without interruptions, for at least 60 to 90 minutes. It’s the ideal way to take charge of your agenda, and get the most challenging work done, with the highest efficiency.

2.Chunk your email, meaning answer it in batches, rather than continuously through the day. Set aside at least some periods where you turn it off altogether.

3.Take short breaks through the day — 2 to 3 minutes at first — to close your eyes and practice quieting your mind. Breathe in through your nose to a count of three and out through your mouth to a count of six. The more relaxed you become, the easier it is to focus and the stronger your attentional control will get over time.

4.As an antidote to surfing the web and churning out emails, texts and tweets, take at least one uninterrupted half an hour in the evening to read a challenging book, or to think reflectively and write in a journal about your day.