Since the year 2000, about the time the mobile revolution began, the average attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds.
The Internet is fun and full of distractions: indeed, your work efficiency can suffer from liking too many cat videos on YouTube or researching way too much Fantasy Football. Luckily, there are ways to use technology to maximize your focus and increase productivity. Here are five apps to optimize your attention span.
Lumosity, developed by game designers and scientists, is one of the most popular apps for improving your brain functioning. Known as a gym for your brain, Lumosity uses interactive games and training exercises to improve memory, processing speed, attention span and overall cognitive ability. You first take a fit test to get a baseline score and see how you compare to others in your group. From there you are given a daily workout plan, where you can track your scores and progress, and get insights from that data.
Currently, there are over 50 games on Lumosity, and the app is available for both iOS and Android devices. Basic membership requires no fee; the monthly membership subscription does cost money, but it enables full access to all of the app's features.
With the CogniFit app, you begin with an initial assessment quiz to measure your cognitive abilities and personalize a training program to addresses cognitive deficiencies. The game also has specialized training programs for concentration, ADHD, mental planning and other areas where attention is required. Even cooler, you can challenge friends and earn "neurons" (the game's currency) from the game's platform when you perform well.
The game is available for both Android devices and iOS devices. A basic membership is free and allows access to some games; a full membership, which requires either monthly or annual payment, allows access to all training programs.
Experts in neuroscience have offered their expertise in the creation of Elevate, an app that gives you new challenges each day on over 35 cognitive skills. The app has numerous training exercises to help with attention, including those centered on concentration, processing speed, brevity, precision, visualization and other areas.
Featuring relaxing background music and no timers or high scores, Brain Yoga Brain Training helps enhance your attention and concentration by tuning out noise and just allowing you to play calmly. Many attention issues stem from an inability to simply slow everything down and take care of the task at hand. This app does a great job of helping you do just that. You can complete puzzles, pattern matching, vocabulary quizzes and spatial exercises without the stress to perform well or break record times.
The app is free and available only on Android products. There are in-game purchases for more features.
MindNode is a great app for those who have trouble gathering their thoughts and ideas in an organized manner. Designed for visual learners, MindNode aims to map out what you're thinking through visual representations and eventually form a central thesis. Does your poor attention span make it difficult for you to work toward a larger goal? Once you see your ideas combining to create something greater, you'll find your attention start to improve — your concrete progress encourages you to reach the finish line.
Currently only available on Apple products, this mind mapping app does require a one-time payment to download and install.