Don’t be a goldfish! – A guide to prolonging focused attention

In the modern world, the constant flow of information and the use of digital tools can reduce our ability to concentrate, which is now shorter than a goldfish. Multitasking, while it may seem efficient, actually reduces our productivity and increases the number of mistakes. Improving concentration and attention not only improves individual performance, but also improves quality of life.

For a long time, I was proud of my ability to multitask – I thought it was a great female trait that made me more efficient.

Then it turned out that not so much. I first noticed at university, when I was listening to classes in English (because why not start multitasking while absorbing a foreign language), that I was checking and even replying to my emails. Then the lesson ended and I couldn’t remember anything. Nor what the material was, nor even what letters I wrote in the meantime.

I started to work in automatic mode. I had to start all over again, not to mention the fact that I had to go through my letters again because I had responded to them in a sloppy way. So the result of my great efficiency was that I lost an hour and I also got really pissed off.

Multitasking, although it may seem efficient to many, can actually reduce productivity and increase the number of errors. Our brains can’t multitask with the same efficiency, so constant switching can slow us down. In addition, multitasking increases stress levels and reduces periods of deep concentration. In the long run, this constant divided attention can exhaust our brains and reduce our cognitive abilities.

In our modern world, digital tools and the constant flow of information often make people disconnected and easily distracted. According to some research, the average person’s attention span is now only about 8 seconds – less than that of a goldfish! But how can we improve our concentration and attention in this fast-paced world?

According to, humans, like goldfish, can only focus on one thing for an average of 8.25 seconds.

Too short attention spans mean that we tend to get distracted quickly or have difficulty focusing on a task or conversation in the first place.

Have you ever been bored and noticed that while they are talking to you, you are engaged in another conversation with yourself in your head? Of course you nod your head, but only your body is present.

In some rarer cases, short attention spans may be caused by mental or other health problems, such as ADHD or anxiety, but they can also be caused by depression, learning disabilities, trauma (even PTSD) or sensory disorders.

This problem is caused by the constantly on-call, information bombarding nature of the modern world. The constant stream of messages, texts, moving images and news that we receive has been proven to change our brain chemistry, functioning and abilities.

For example, I remind myself when I need to concentrate on a task to turn down the music, close the 85 windows that are open, and even close the mailbox. Because I refresh it when I remember and why not look at two of the 3 monitors at the same time.

What can we do to improve our concentration?

Digital Detox

Research shows that people check their phones on average 150 times a day. Try to spend at least one day a week away from electronic devices. For example, schedule one day a week as an “offline” day where you don’t use your smartphone or computer, and you’ll find that these days are the most productive. Just like your best ideas don’t usually come when you’re working, but when you’re relaxed – even at night. Or in conversations.


According to research from Harvard University, meditation increases the density of brain matter, especially in areas responsible for learning and memory. In the cerebral cortex, fundamental changes occur in meditators, as thickening (i.e. development) has been observed in the cortical areas associated with attention and emotional processing.


According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, regular exercise improves cognitive function and attention. Persze itt nem kell rögtön arra gondolni, hogy heti négy alkalommal menjünk edzőterembe (Isten ments 😀), 10-15 perces rövid séták akár a kertedben vagy az utcán is már nagyban tudják javítani a figyelmedet. Of course, if you have the willpower, you can go for sports, go for a run, go for the pump, and I will salute you sincerely. In our company, one of the most successful salespeople moves regularly, not just because it suits her, but because it’s where she switches off and recharges. This is not by chance.

Healthy diet

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, support brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in foods such as salmon, are vital for brain health. These fatty acids help brain cells communicate, support memory function and reduce inflammation in the brain. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids contribute to the elasticity of nerve cell membranes, which improves the flow of information in the brain. A healthy diet high in omega-3 fatty acids supports optimal brain function in the long term.


The Pomodoro technique suggests a 5-minute break after 25 minutes of work. The Pomodoro technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The method is named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used while studying at university. The technique involves performing tasks in short, uninterrupted intervals, followed by shorter breaks.

The basic steps of the Pomodoro technique are:

  1. Choose a task you want to work on.
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes – this is the period for a “Pomodoro”.
  3. Work on the task for 25 minutes without interruption.
  4. When the timer runs out, note that you have completed a “Pomodoro” and take a 5-minute break.
  5. Repeat the steps above. After completing four “Pomodoro”, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.

The technique aims to increase focus and productivity, reduce procrastination and help people manage their time more effectively. The combination of short, intense work periods and regular breaks allows the brain to rest and regenerate, so you can concentrate for longer and feel less fatigue.

Avoid multitasking

Multitasking can be appealing to many people, as it can seem to get more done in less time. However, Stanford University research has shown that people who multitask frequently are less efficient and less able to concentrate than those who focus on one task at a time. Research shows that multitasking not only reduces productivity, but also affects the brain’s ability to separate relevant and irrelevant information. In addition, people who multitask frequently find it harder to switch between tasks and may be more prone to errors. Therefore, if you really want to work efficiently and get the best out of yourself, it’s best to avoid multitasking and focus on one task at a time. This allows us to dive deeper into the work, concentrate better and make fewer mistakes.


Sleep is vital for the human body and brain. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a day to function optimally. Getting enough sleep helps the brain to regenerate, strengthen memory and cope with daily stress. Sleep deprivation not only reduces concentration, but can also lead to serious long-term health problems such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. In addition, lack of sleep negatively affects emotional well-being, increasing the risk of irritation and depression. (that’s why we get hysterical when we don’t get enough sleep) It’s important to take time for rest and sleep in addition to your daily routine and work. Getting the right amount and quality of sleep helps us stay fresh, energetic and focused throughout the day, and contributes to overall wellbeing and health.


Listening to music and its effect on the human brain has long been a subject of research. Listening to classical music, especially Mozart, can have a positive effect on cognitive abilities, according to research from Cambridge University. This association is known as the ‘Mozart effect’, which suggests that listening to certain music can improve brain performance, particularly in the areas of short-term memory and spatial abilities. Research has shown that listening to classical music can stimulate different areas of the brain, which helps to process information and focus. Although the exact mechanism of the link between music and the brain is not yet fully understood, researchers believe that the complex rhythms, harmonies and structures that characterise classical music stimulate communication between brain cells. It is important to note, however, that although listening to classical music has positive effects, it is not a substitute for active learning and practice. Rather, listening to music can be used as a complementary tool to promote learning and cognitive development.

Improving concentration and attention not only improves individual performance, but also improves quality of life. With these tips and strategies, we can resist the pressures of the modern world and increase our awareness and presence in our daily lives.

Keeping our bodies and minds healthy is important not just to avoid disease or premature ageing. A healthy lifestyle that includes good nutrition, regular exercise and mental well-being can give us a longer and better quality of life. When we take care of ourselves, not only does our physical well-being improve, but our emotional and mental well-being also improves. A healthy body is better able to resist different diseases, has a stronger immune system and fewer chronic health problems.

In addition, when we feel good physically, our self-confidence increases, which has a positive impact on our self-esteem and our relationships. A healthy lifestyle also reduces stress, anxiety and depression, as exercise and a balanced diet release endorphins, known as the ‘happy hormone’.

Taking care of our bodies not only brings benefits in the present, but also in the future. People who lead a healthy lifestyle are at less risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. There are also long-term economic benefits to a healthy lifestyle, as less money is spent on healthcare and medicines.

So, taking care of ourselves and our bodies not only benefits our physical wellbeing, but also promotes our mental and emotional balance, while ensuring our long-term health and wellbeing.

Így, amikor tudatosan dolgozol azon, hogy javuljon a koncentrációs készséged és a figyelmed, valójában saját magadért és az egészségedért is nagyon sokat teszel!

Of course, in the short term it’s easier to open an energy drink and not get out of your chair for hours, especially when you know you really need to smash it and a day is still only 24 hours, you can only do that for so long. You’ll be more effective if you give yourself time, if you don’t give yourself 24 hours to change the world and do three things at once. Believe me!

Oh, and don’t be a goldfish! 😊