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How long is your concentration span?


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Poll: How long is your concentration span? (145 member(s) have cast votes)

I can concentrate for...

  1. The house could be burning down and I'm still focused (19 votes [13.10%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.10%

  2. You get my full attention for an hour (26 votes [17.93%])

    Percentage of vote: 17.93%

  3. 30 minutes tops (30 votes [20.69%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.69%

  4. Hungry after 10 minutes (23 votes [15.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.86%

  5. Look there's a butterfly (47 votes [32.41%])

    Percentage of vote: 32.41%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 Wahwah

Posted 23 May 2019 - 02:14 PM

How long do you stick at something before getting distracted? What distracts you? Why?

I feel like I can't concentrate on work for more than 10 minutes at a time. Write half a page, surf the internet, another half page, make a cup of tea, and so on. It's like being pulled in two directions all the time. I work at home so can get away with it, but it's also other things like I need to double-screen because I can't just watch tv.

Is it just me? Any tips on how to focus better?

#2 Nobodyelse

Posted 23 May 2019 - 02:19 PM

I have less than ten minutes of singular focus. With Netflix or music playing I do much better but still not great.

But I'm Adhd-inattentive. When I take my Dex, I can concentrate on something for hours. I still need my other screen with a movie or music playing though.

You could try concentration apps like pomodoro. Eta: Forest: Stay focused is good too.

Edited by Nobodyelse, 23 May 2019 - 02:19 PM.


#3 seayork2002

Posted 23 May 2019 - 02:19 PM

sorry what was that?

couldn't resist, seriously though it depends as I can sit for hours on Sim City and all the Candy Crush games but I get bored at work very easily!

And as for housework...

#4 Chicken Pie

Posted 23 May 2019 - 02:27 PM

it depends on deadlines, i perform better under pressure otherwise i struggle to focus, also impacted by time of the month etc as well

#5 Wahwah

Posted 23 May 2019 - 02:32 PM

View Postseayork2002, on 23 May 2019 - 02:19 PM, said:

sorry what was that?

couldn't resist, seriously though it depends as I can sit for hours on Sim City and all the Candy Crush games but I get bored at work very easily!

And as for housework...

Forgot about Candy Crush. I am very, very good at dedicating time to Candy Crush. Which is why I'm approach level 2000.

#6 seayork2002

Posted 23 May 2019 - 02:34 PM

View PostWahwah, on 23 May 2019 - 02:32 PM, said:

Forgot about Candy Crush. I am very, very good at dedicating time to Candy Crush. Which is why I'm approach level 2000.

Ds and I are also working through Happy Glass that one is becoming a good time waster!

#7 Holidayromp

Posted 23 May 2019 - 02:37 PM

It depends.

Sometimes I’m very focussed and ‘in the zone’ and other times as ditzy as hell and all over the place.

Im pretty sure its hormonal.

#8 Catzilla

Posted 23 May 2019 - 03:03 PM

Some stuff I can concentrate on for ages, like Cookie Jam Blast (I've just past level 2,200).  Other things, I zone out after 10 minutes or so.  Concentration span for me probably to an extent depends on how interested I am in the thing I'm trying to concentrate on.

#9 Octopodes

Posted 23 May 2019 - 03:06 PM

My middle name is 'oh look, a shiny thing!'

I get distracted by anything and everything. I jump back and forth between tasks, I never finish a task before starting another one and I am rarely doing only one thing at a time. I am very deadline motivated though, so I might have 6 balls in the air, but manage to catch them all before they hit the ground.

#10 Caribou

Posted 23 May 2019 - 03:08 PM

Try something like the freedom app if you’re on a Mac computer. You can set timers where it will block access to internet so you can concentrate for that span of time.

My concentration needs all distractions removed for it to
Work.

#11 Demera

Posted 23 May 2019 - 03:19 PM

View PostOctopodes, on 23 May 2019 - 03:06 PM, said:

My middle name is 'oh look, a shiny thing!'

I get distracted by anything and everything. I jump back and forth between tasks, I never finish a task before starting another one and I am rarely doing only one thing at a time. I am very deadline motivated though, so I might have 6 balls in the air, but manage to catch them all before they hit the ground.


At work, as above!!! Unless it's something creative like building a spreadsheet or form, designing a poster or flow chart.  At home if I'm working on a piece of art, or editing photos, I can concentrate uninterrupted for hours.  Work, nah only for short periods and I bounce around from thing to thing. I have to be very disciplined to just stick at one thing until it's done. It doesn't help that the nature of my job means I'm being interrupted a lot and need to learn to use the DND setting on the phone more.  I have mastered the art of only checking emails a few days a day though.  Email is a bloody trap.

#12 mayahlb

Posted 23 May 2019 - 03:31 PM

I’m very likely adhd just like my kids (I had a pead bluntly ask if I’d been diagnosed...). But I have ways I cope. Something I’m interested in I can stay stuck on it for hours and hours and actually struggle to disengage from it. At work I use mini deadlines and “rewards”. I make sure I have a decent variety of tasks, so when my attention is fading from one I bounce to another. I’ve been told it makes people tired to see me bouncing all over the place at time. But it’s just that my brain only seems to have the ability to stick to something before flicking off on a sideways tangent.

Also sensory input like music helps. I always study with headphones and music blasting, or have a TV going in the background. Timers can help too. Most of that I can only do at home though. Lists are good at work. I have my outlook calendar set up to go off with different task reminders at different time. On really bad days I go for a walk or something to break the cycle.

#13 lizzzard

Posted 23 May 2019 - 03:48 PM

Thankyou for posting this OP! I have been thinking/worrying about my poor concentration for a while. I’ve put in place a couple of strategies- listening to music with headphones in, and doing important work in the morning (even getting up at 5am as it makes a material difference to my ability to focus. I also find it hard to focus on fun things at night - ironically I get distracted by the thought of work. I have had success in giving myself ‘permission’ to relax for a set period of time.

#14 Jennifaraway

Posted 23 May 2019 - 04:11 PM

I have inattentive ADHD too. So I vary between house burning down and butterflies (so I didn't vote). Medication helps, but boring things are SO BORING.

I work from home too, but I think actually sometimes being in the office again would help because the background noise etc would be a good distraction to keep me from being distracted by the shiny. No choice there at the moment though (too far, school run, etc).

And I often double screen when watching TV, unless I'm completely absorbed in it.

And oh look, I'm on the internet when I'm supposed to be working (I've been working through all day, though. I needed a break!).

#15 night jasmine

Posted 23 May 2019 - 04:44 PM

I can concentrate for as long as it takes. Or until I really need to wee/eat/sleep. It’s part of my job though.

#16 TheGreenSheep

Posted 23 May 2019 - 05:08 PM

It varies. I do well if I flit across things. Suits my job as it’s very fluid and busy. Phone rings a lot, emails, follow ups, faxes. I hate it quiet.

Put me in the kitchen and I’ll cook for hours.

Open a game of Cookie Jam and I can while away the hours.

My husband has a concentration span like a steel trap, he can work in a zone for hours upon hours, not stopping for anything. Bombs. Fires. He’s still working.

#17 cardamom

Posted 23 May 2019 - 05:29 PM

If it's a task I'm enjoying or feel competent at, eg cooking, I can concentrate just fine.

If it's a task I feel anxious about or am likely to procrastinate over, eg the presentation I'm meant to be writing right now, I struggle to stay on task for even 2 minutes.

The only way I can manage when I'm in that zone is to set an alarm at 10 minute increments, and work/break, work/break until it's done.

#18 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 23 May 2019 - 05:35 PM

I have the ability to force myself to focus on the most boring tasks until they are complete. No matter how I am Feeling (although a cup of tea helps) I have learned over the years that this is a rare trait and an under appreciated one.

But like anyone there is a bunch of other things on my mind at any one time and I have my good and bad days.

My hobby is crochet. That should tell you something about my focusing on boring tasks, lol.

#19 cardamom

Posted 23 May 2019 - 05:51 PM

View Postcardamom, on 23 May 2019 - 05:29 PM, said:

The only way I can manage when I'm in that zone is to set an alarm at 10 minute increments, and work/break, work/break until it's done.

Made it 4 minutes of the way through my 10 minutes before somehow winding up back on EB. Sigh.

#20 Wahwah

Posted 23 May 2019 - 05:59 PM

View Postcardamom, on 23 May 2019 - 05:29 PM, said:

If it's a task I'm enjoying or feel competent at, eg cooking, I can concentrate just fine.

If it's a task I feel anxious about or am likely to procrastinate over, eg the presentation I'm meant to be writing right now, I struggle to stay on task for even 2 minutes.

The only way I can manage when I'm in that zone is to set an alarm at 10-minute increments, and work/break, work/break until it's done.

That's me exactly! I can't think straight about this piece of work because it's bothering me, so I pfaff about online, which means I can't think straight.

There are a few ideas here to try. Once I get off EB and back to work :)

#21 cardamom

Posted 23 May 2019 - 06:28 PM

View PostWahwah, on 23 May 2019 - 05:59 PM, said:

That's me exactly! I can't think straight about this piece of work because it's bothering me, so I pfaff about online, which means I can't think straight.

There are a few ideas here to try. Once I get off EB and back to work :)

I feel you! Maybe we can support each other through the long night ahead. I have a presentation at 9am and I've barely started *facepalm*

#22 EsmeLennox

Posted 23 May 2019 - 06:32 PM

It depends what I’m doing. I can concentrate for long periods if I have to/really need to.

If my schedule is a bit looser, I can be easily distracted.

I find it hard to watch TV without something else on the go...but my mother was the same really...she always used to knit while watching telly. It’s the same principle as playing a game on the iPad I reckon...it’s just viewed as more virtuous because she had a product at the end, and I’ve just got level 600 or something.

#23 Blue Shoe

Posted 23 May 2019 - 06:34 PM

For me it is definitely dependent on what type of task, and how difficult I’m finding it. Certain mindless repetitive tasks I actually don’t mind doing for hours because I can get in the zone and give my brain a break from other stuff. Tasks that are a particular combination of creativity and organisation are my strength and I will happily work on them until the job is done. Whereas meaningless box-ticking type reports etc I will procrastinate about until the cows come home, and struggle to stay focused on for any length of time.

#24 night jasmine

Posted 23 May 2019 - 06:35 PM

View Post~LemonMyrtle~, on 23 May 2019 - 05:35 PM, said:

I have the ability to force myself to focus on the most boring tasks until they are complete. No matter how I am Feeling (although a cup of tea helps) I have learned over the years that this is a rare trait and an under appreciated one.

But like anyone there is a bunch of other things on my mind at any one time and I have my good and bad days.

My hobby is crochet. That should tell you something about my focusing on boring tasks, lol.
Ha! I have this ability too and I also enjoy crocheting.

I’m very disciplined and don’t procrastinate. Just do what needs to be done till it’s done. So as karma would have it, my eldest is Master Procrastinator and gets distracted very easily. He just cannot get started on something until it’s due. Yesterday.

#25 can'tstayaway

Posted 23 May 2019 - 06:46 PM

I voted “look, there’s a butterfly”.

I have learned to concentrate as an adult because there isn’t another choice but my natural inclination is to flitter. I double screen and at one stage would triple screen with the tv, laptop and my mobile. I’ve chosen to minimise my computer use once the kids are home because it’s just not productive trying to multitask with things that require concentration.

I used to stay up late to do my work and I think it was to do with everything being still and quiet. Not just in the house but the wider neighbourhood too. I’ve noticed my DS gets up at 5am to study and I think it’s the stillness he likes.




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