I think this is one of the most popular questions that has been asked mostly by students. Most of the students say that they sit for studying but after 10–20 minutes they get tired and they don’t feel like studying.
But why is it happening with most of the students? It is because of the reduced attention span. The internet and social media, in general, is reducing our attention span. Consider it yourself, in the past when people started reading books, it used to take a few days to complete reading the book. So then movies came, it takes a few hours to watch the whole movie. Then came youtube where it takes around 10–15 minutes to complete the whole video. Then different social media networks came like Facebook and Instagram where you spend a minute on a topic. Then TikTok took it to an extreme level, where it usually takes a few seconds to watch a video.
Now you might be understanding how our attention span is slowly and gradually reducing. Nowadays our attention span has reduced to such an extent that we need something new every 10 seconds to entertain ourselves. Our patience level has reduced so much that when you go to a cinema hall to watch a movie and when there is a boring scene, people switch on their mobile phones and start to browse something. They don’t have enough patience to even watch a two-hour video without using their phone. They need something entertaining every second.
Now due to such short attention span, many problems arrive because you cannot teach something in such a short span of time, you cannot learn anything in such a span of time. Due to such a short attention span, it will become very difficult for any person to concentrate or focus on something because their mind wants something entertaining every 10–15 seconds.
I hope you got clarity about why you weren’t able to concentrate for a long period of time. So the first step you need to take is to try to do work which involves more attention span and do such work regularly so that you can increase your natural attention span.
But what can we do now so that we work for long hours? Now usually what people do is that when people are motivated they work for many hours at a stretch then they get exhausted and they are unable to do anything for the rest of the day. So don’t do that. Take breaks every 45 minutes. Keep a clock nearby you and start working when you get tired see the clock if you have worked for 45 minutes. If you have worked for 45 minutes take a 10 minutes break. But when I say 10 minutes I mean only 10 minutes not more than that, nor less than that.
Now don’t open your mobile phone in this break because you will be exhausting your eyes due to light of the phone then the break won’t make any sense. Rather sit or lie down and close your eyes. You can think of anything or talk to yourself but don’t do anything else. Or alternate is that you keep your clock in front of you and wait till 10 minutes is over but the twist is that you must only focus on the watch for 10 minutes. Why? Because remember in your school days when a boring period used to come and you used to watch the clock continuously to see how much time was left. Even if 10 minutes were left we used to feel like an hour because the period was like never-ending.
You might even relate it to the days when you used to write exams. While writing our focus is on the clock and sometimes we feel that time is suddenly running very fast and we might not be able to complete the exam.
So why taking breaks between working is important? Because imagine you are driving a car and your petrol tank is full. So you keep on driving for a while then you observe that your petrol is half empty but you don’t stop rather you still keep on driving and after a while, your petrol is almost over but still you don’t stop and you keep on driving. Now you know what will happen next. Your car will stop midway and there won’t be any petrol pump nearby to fill your tank. So what mistake did you do here? You should have had filled your petrol when it was half empty.
So, in the same way, don’t work continuously until you exhaust yourself because then you won’t be able to work after that. Rather you should take frequent breaks of 10 minutes so that you can work continuously throughout the day.