How to improve your attention span

Andrew Leung
3 min readJun 10, 2024

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Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

In our life, we have two major assets: time and attention. Our attention is what allows us to grow and improve every aspect of our lives. Another way to think of this is your ability to be present. So this leads us to needing to build our attention span so that we can learn to improve ourselves. Here are 5 ways you can improve your attention span.

  1. Reframe and readjust your triggers and cues

We all have cues and triggers that move us to action. Cues are the signal in our mind for a specific action. Triggers are the total events and build up that lead to action. Many of our cues and triggers happen instinctively. It is up to us to learn how to control them. Some of the time instincts can lead to the right action and other times it can be a distraction. For us to make these changes we have to break down every action and what happened preceding the action. This will allow us to find those cues and triggers. Once we know what they are then we can make changes to each aspect.

2. Engage in the activity

When you were in school your teacher probably asked you to take notes on what you were reading. Why? They wanted you to engage with the material. Doing this helps you pay attention because you need to focus to do both tasks well. There are many ways to engage in an activity besides note taking. For more actionable information you can go out and practice it. Engagement is going to vary based on what you want to do learn. But finding ways to connect to the material is a great way to make sure that the material sticks in your mind.

3. Be well rested

Being well rested is vital for your attention span. When you get tired you’ll tend to check out mentally or become more easily distracted. This makes it hard for you to pay attention. To make sure you are well rested make sure you get enough sleep. Generally 6–8 hours is a healthy amount for adults.

4. Take breaks

Sometimes what we need most is a break. A break helps us restart mentally. Not every problem can be forced through. Sometimes the best solution is to just come back to it. When we stare at a problem for too long it makes it seem impossible to overcome. That leads us a negative thought cycle. Avoiding this will help us maintain our attention.

5. Practice

You can practice building your attention span. There are many ways to this. One of the most effective is meditating because it forces you to focus on your breath. This simple movement can be done anywhere. And even small amounts can be helpful. Another way you can practice is by playing games or doing detailed oriented activities. These also help you build your attention by giving you a more tactile avenue. This can be a great thing when combined with meditation to build your attention over time. Attention isn’t something you can build quickly. It takes patience to learn what you need and how to do it.

Your attention is vital for self improvement. It will let you get the most out of your tools and work to be the best you can be.

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Andrew Leung

I will be sharing the plain and honest: truths, pros and cons as well as my experiences of Personal Finance, Side Hustles, and Investing.