What’s your attention span? Can you give a hour long TV episode your full attention? 30 minute show? How about a 60 second commercial? Have I lost you just reading this?
Microsoft, yes that Microsoft, did an infamous study and determined humanity has a shorter span than a goldfish. I’m not sure I’ve ever thought about the attention span of a goldfish, but I guess that’s about me. (they have a 9 second span by the way)
So, I have e.i.g.h.t. short seconds to grab your attention before you click somewhere else.
Ads have 15 seconds. Movie trailers need to get you quickly.
I now have six seconds.
I want to share some ways to slow down and pay more attention. Maybe you can share other ways too.
Think about the consequences for short attention spans. Harder to learn/teach. Shallower content. Fallow conversations. Broken relationships. And when it comes to church, leaders feel they have to cater to this as well. And in the social media world … news articles have to be reduced to tweets, life changing experiences have to be confined to 12 second TikTok or Instagram posts, and Facebook articles have to grab you in an instant or the user continues the scroll on down the timeline.
But don’t cater, don’t give in. Worship/Ministry leader – go deeper, demand more, expect sacrificial lifestyle. Jesus does.
Teach them … My phone is a window into the worthless and the worthy, the artificial and the authentic. Some days I feel as if my phone is a digital vampire, sucking away my time and my life. (Tony Reinke)
Teach them … spiritual growth doesn’t happen over night. The Bible uses gardening as a metaphor very often. And as any farmer or gardener will tell you, this takes time. Get past instant gratification.
Teach them … God demands more, or less. Surrender, not convenience. All your life, not just part. Discipline, not distraction.
Teach them … Jesus. His love, His commitment, His eternal passion for each and every one of us.
Soooooo ……… what do we do? How do we train ourselves to pay more attention?
- Stop rushing. Slow down in taking your input.
- Take breaks (seems counterproductive) … but allow some ‘think time’ like 5-7 seconds to focus. These pauses help us stay on a topic.
- Exercise. Discipline of a body will carry over to discipline of mind.
- Get rest.
- Get help. I mean help in your tasks. Sometimes being overwhelmed makes you jump around mentally. So if you need help, get it.
- Sharpen mental functions through brain exercises.
- Prune. Get stuff out of your life that you don’t need.
These are just some. What do you do?