As of 2012 the average attention span in 2012 was 8 seconds according to the Associated Press. That is 3 seconds less than reported in 2000 – a 25% decline.
It is now official that our attention span is LESS than the attention span of a goldfish!
I heard this statistic while listening to Sally Hogshead talk about the subject of Fascination and how we can capture that limited attention span. While as a business owner I continue to work hard to learn how to capture people’s attention so I have the opportunity to actually make a difference with them, I couldn’t help but think about the implications of this alarming statistic for my life.
We are bombarded daily with a staggering amount of information. If I printed my daily e-mails for a month I would probably be classified as a hoarder. Sure there are the spammers, but most of that information I have invited into my inbox in one way or another. There is literally a stack of books on my nightstand (and in my Kindle reader) that seems to grow much faster than it shrinks.
Truth be told I love all that input, including my beloved social media streams, most especially twitter.
But is it really a problem? Said more personally, do I have a problem?
Have I unwittingly become an input junkie? I don’t have an answer to that just yet, although I can say I am taking a very honest look in the mirror.
My thinking so far has led me to one conclusion though:
The difference between being an input junkie and having a big appetite for information lies in what I do with the input. If all I do is read, watch and listen without taking action based on all of that input then I am wasting my time.
Brendan Burchard suggests that if you want to be productive and effective you need to be the driver of your day, rather than let the outside world “run the show” so to speak. He recommends that, rather than taking in input at the start of your day in the form of signing onto social media, reading e-mail, etc., if you want to be productive and effective you must start your day declaring what you must accomplish and who you must contact.
It occurs to me that if I can apply that approach to all of the input I am both bombarded with and seek daily, I may not quell the massive inflow, but I will make much better choices about what I allow in. That way I can ensure I have the time and focus essential to take the action required to fulfill on my goals and aspirations.
What about you – are you an input junkie?
What strategies can you offer for dealing with the massive flow of information inevitable in today’s world?
Image credit: sangoiri / 123RF Stock Photo