In the era when the internet and hi-tech devices take up most of our time, it is getting more important than ever to pay attention to the people and things around you. An average attention span — the amount of concentrated time on a task without becoming distracted — has decreased to just 8 seconds. This is 50% less than 17 years ago!
In such circumstances, it is crucial to understand how paying attention can drastically improve your life. If you want to live a happier and more productive life, you should practice and learn to pay attention. It’s not an easy process but we will explain to you how to do that in a few simple steps.
Pay Attention! You Will Drastically Improve Your Life (and Here’s How)
When walking, walk. When eating, eat.
– Zen proverb (more here)
The benefits of paying attention
It seems like people live digital lives these days. However, a recent study proved that earlier adopters of technology and individuals who consume more media have a problem focusing in environments where prolonged attention is needed.
The first thing you should do is get acquainted with the perks of paying attention in everyday situations. Let’s check out the main benefits.
Attention improves memory
People who pay attention to details have a better memory than others. If you start paying attention more often in your life, you will soon notice that you remember a lot more details than usual. These can be either very important things or trivialities, but you will memorize it all regardless. And of course, improved memory can help you later in your academic or professional career.
You become more patient
Patience is the quality that can make your life much more beautiful in the long run. Only the strongest individuals are patient enough to take a break, slow down and pay attention to the world around them. Doing that, they become wiser and more rational. They contemplate and find solutions. Patience will teach you to discover and enjoy the little secrets in your life.
You will do things more thoroughly
Nobody likes sloppy and negligent people. These traits are not good for your job, and they can also destroy your relationships with other people. However, if you pay attention to details, you will begin fulfilling your duties more thoroughly than before. You’ll stop making small but annoying mistakes. It can improve your business results and make you more precise and efficient.
Improve interpersonal relations
A lot of things in your life depend on the nature of your relations with other people. For instance, if you don’t build solid relationships with your boss or colleagues, you’ll hardly ever do a good job or get a promotion. The same goes for personal relations with friends or family members. Paying attention to what people are telling you is the best way to improve interpersonal relations, so try to embrace this kind of behavior.
You start noticing opportunities
If you are careful enough to pay attention to all details during conversations with other people, you may begin noticing valuable opportunities before others. Additionally, you may discover the forthcoming trends, facts, and information faster than your peers. Maintaining a full focus, you can read between the lines and learn about new business prospects. Needless to say, things like that can make you more successful and satisfied.
How to strengthen your attention span
There are many ways to practice your attention skills, but here are some of the most effective methods. Let’s take a closer look:
It seems like today a quarter of all young people forget major details about close friends and relatives because they lack a strong attention span. The best thing you can do to work on this ability is to practice real-life attention exercises. For instance, you can take a photo full of small details and watch it for a few minutes. Pay attention to all people and objects in this photo. When you stop looking at it, try to remember as many details as possible.
Exercising your attention like this at least once a day will generate great results shortly. After that, you can shift to somewhat more difficult practices like going out and watching a densely packed public square. It’s a more challenging task, but you should be able to complete it successfully after a few attempts.
With the stress and decision overload of work duties and everyday problems, it seems it’s increasingly difficult these days to stay focused on anything for too long. You can find a cure for this problem in meditation.
You don’t have to be a pro at it – just relax through meditation two or three times a week and it will make you more comfortable soon enough. Without so much stress in your life, you will start paying attention not only to personal problems but also to the people around you.
We mentioned that interpersonal relations suffer if you don’t pay enough attention to what other people are saying. To avoid this issue, you should try to speak less than usual and start listening to the people around you.
Namely, listening skills can drastically improve your interpersonal relationships. Bear this in mind when engaging in communication and keep quiet when other someone else is sharing their thoughts with you. This way, you will show respect and understanding, which is the best way to improve relations with this person.
Learning to pay more attention can dramatically improve your life. You can improve your everyday focus and concentration by trying these strategies above. Let us know in the comments which method proved the most effective for you, and if you have an suggestions of your own, feel free to share!