The average attention span is estimated to be about five minutes long for a two year old child, and up to 20 minutes in older children and adults.
Just guessing – but it will probably take you longer than 20 minutes of focused attention to achieve your dreams. Try out these 10 tips for clearing and clarifying your mind..
- Establish a Morning Ritual: What you do in the morning sets the tone for the day. Begin each day with 10 minutes of nurturing self care. Stretch, breathe, meditate, or read a few pages of a self improvement book. See how that “me” time can refocus your mind.
- Complete Any Unfinished Business: I LOVE this concept from David Allen in his book Getting Things Done, the art of stress-free productivity. It applies to any area of your life. The idea is that “open loops” running in your subconscious mind drain your energy. Close them by completing unfinished tasks and increase your energy!
- Sleep. Eat. Exercise. Repeat. Yes, you know it! Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Eat healthy, balanced meals. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day five days per week. Strengthen your body and mind.
- Create a Peaceful Place in Your Home or Office That Inspires You: When your space is organized and inspired, so is your mind. Start reducing the clutter and clean up your space.
- Try Mind Mapping: This works especially well with creative types. Tony Buzan describes this in his book, The Mind Map Book – How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential. Using a combination of words, colors, diagrams, and pictures you can capture more of what’s on your mind and link it to actionable steps.
- Practice Gratitude Everyday: It strengthens the neural pathways responsible for positive thinking and an empowered attitude. Take 30 seconds a day to notice what you’re grateful for. Even better – write it down!
- Listen to Music: A study at Penn State University demonstrated that listening to music improved mood, no matter what type of music was heard. Others have shown that upbeat music calms the heart rate, increases happiness, and reduces depression. A positive mood is a clearer one.
- Aromatherapy: Smells reportedly meet over 50,000,000 neural receptors located in the upper part of the nasal septum when inhaled. They send messages to the limbic system via the olfactory bulb. This is the part of the brain that controls emotions, behavior, and basic thought processes. I use Lavender for relaxation and Wild Orange for feeling uplifted.
- Structure Your Day: Having a schedule in your calendar reduces the amount of things you’re trying to remember. The more you rely on your memory, the more psychological stress you create. Once information is out of your brain and on paper, you can forget it until you need to deal with it. Now you can move onto other things.
- Manage Your Actions: Time management is a farce. You can’t change time, but you can change your actions. Practice one or all of these tips and notice your clarity and productivity rise. Make a choice each moment to engage with your world in an organized, productive way. Own your choices. Be empowered.
Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net – Stuart Miles, samuiblue, Stoonn