How to increase my attention span?
April 24, 2014 3:49 AM Subscribe
I don't seem to have the attention span for books, TV series and movies anymore, and I'm missing out on a lot of good entertainment, as well as having a general feeling of being culturally 'out of it'. How can I increase my attention span and start getting into long-form entertainment again?
posted by Ziggy500 to Grab Bag (17 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
I used to be able to get sucked into entertainment quite easily. I could spend hours and hours watching TV or reading. In fact it was probably excessive: I used to stay up all night reading, and in all day watching Lost marathons (this is how far back we are talking about). It probably wasn't very healthy but I've clearly grown out of it.
Now my problem is the opposite: a one-hour long TV drama makes me feel antsy, I can't focus on the story and just end up checking my phone a lot, and often I'm so tired after a long day of work I fall asleep midway even if I am enjoying it. I have missed out on so much good TV because it all seems like a commitment rather than something you do for fun.
With books, I keep having to put them aside after bite-size chunks, and anything too intellectually demanding takes so much longer to read than it used to: months and months when before I used to be able to tear through books. I used to read books during my commute to work, but now I just can't bring myself to read: the commute is my time for my mind to be free. But that does take away prime book-reading time.
The thing is, I don't think it has anything to do with the quality of the entertainment: it's all really good stuff but it feels like my brain just doesn't have the space for it. I am starting to feel a little spiritually/culturally impoverished, actually. And it's making me sad because I always used to be the person who read a lot, and was up on all the current popular culture and now I'm not.
So how can I get back into long-form entertainment again? Please note: I'm not looking for recommendations for good current TV/movies/books etc - I have recommendations coming out of my ears. I'm just looking for ways to expand my attention span a little so that I don't feel exhausted by anything longer than a short story or a half-hour sitcom episode.
About me: 31, healthy, busy, technically 9-5 job, more commonly 9-7.