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How to improve attention span without quitting the Internet?

My attention span was decreasing day after day. No matter how much I tried to read books, short articles and even interesting movies, I just couldn't watch it.

And leaving the Internet entirely is not possible these days due to constant dependence on it for our jobs, studies and even staying connected with our family members and friends. 

So over a year, I practiced and developed a few habits of turning my time spent on the Internet into something helpful which actually improved my attention span without giving up technology or the  Internet. 

This is how I improved my attention span and you can too (without giving up the Internet) if you're suffering from decreased attention span and focus - 

1. By watching documentaries 

Watching documentaries will lead to an increased interest in various topics over time. If you're someone who loves to stay on the Internet over 1 hour daily, you might as well spend that time watching a few documentaries. 

Since they are longer than general YouTube videos, it will definitely help in improving your attention span. 

2. Watching longer YouTube videos (>30 mins)

Most of the YouTube videos are very short, with a duration of less than 10 minutes. This is done by content creators intentionally so that their audience don't get bored as they already know that people have a short attention span and it is getting even shorter, that is why most people prefer YouTube shorts nowadays instead of longer videos.

Watching longer videos like longer travel related vlogs, longer informational videos about a certain topic will help sustain your attention span for longer periods of time. 

3. By listening to podcasts 

Listening to podcasts will not only help to increase your knowledge but will also help with your focus. When we listen to podcasts, even if we miss a few seconds by zoning out, it becomes difficult to keep up with it or even understand what was said, properly, because sometimes we tend to miss the context if we're not listening attentively.

So focusing intensely on listening to each and every word of the podcast will help with increasing your focus over time. 

4. By reading books 

Reading books every single day will train your brain in a way which is more calmer and actually requires less effort over time than watching videos. Watching videos can feel like a task since we have to deal with watching, listening and trying to keep up with the content so that we don't zone out or miss a few details. 

But while reading a book, our mind will not easily get distracted since everything depends on your own imagination and not something which is pre-created and shown to us. 

That's why reading books also helps with both imagination and focus. And for improving attention span for a longer period of time, reading books is definitely one of the best way. 

5. Reading reddit threads 

Reading reddit posts and discussions can do wonders to your attention span. Whether you're interested in a particular sport or world politics, cooking with air fryers or cars, gaming or traveling, there are reddit communities for just about anything. 

If you make a habit to read reddit posts daily, it will improve your attention span in just a few weeks. There are many interesting discussions posted daily on different communities called subreddits and you can easily find yourself down the rabbit hole if you get used to the platform. 

6. Meditate (you can use apps too)

Most people who tries to quit Internet for a digital detox or quit social media finds it very difficult to give up their mobile phones entirely, and actually you don't have to if you know how to use it properly. 

And one example of proper use of smartphones is using meditation apps and practicing the exercises daily. 

I personally use Insight Timer (Android, iOS), Waking Up (Android, iOS) and Plum Village (Android, iOS) but you can use any meditation app of your choice. 

Practicing meditation using Guided Meditation lessons, breathing exercises and listening to various topics related to the mind and developing habits like gratitude and loving kindness will rewire your brain for good and will definitely make your mind fit for longer focus and attention. 

7. By using Language Learning Apps

Language learning will play a major role in increasing your power to focus on a particular topic for a longer period of time. There are many apps available to learn a new language like Duolingo, Drops, Busuu, Babbel, Memrise, Mango Languages, Mondly etc. 

8. Playing Brain Training Games

I started playing brain training games like Elevate, Peak and Neuro Nation and it became my favorite way to improve my attention and focus. 

In fact, there are particular games inside these apps just to help with your attention span. Most of the ways listed above can help with your attention indirectly but playing games directed only for the mind is one of the most efficient ways to improve your focus and attention.

If you have any other methods not mentioned here, let me know.

9. Doing coding exercises

Even if you don't want to become a programmer, doing coding exercises can really help to keep your focus and memory fresh.

Last December, Codecademy was giving a 50% discount and I didn't hesitate to buy the subscription for 1 year. 

You can even learn for free on sites like Free Code Camp and some good courses are available for free on Scrimba.

Even doing and redoing less complex and simple lessons like Command line lessons, HTML and CSS can help to keep your attention span strong.

Learning coding or even basic HTML and CSS lessons can help you to have an advantage over others. You can spin up a website in just minutes and serve others with your blog posts. It will also help in developing your writing skills.

Currently the above listed points are the ways that helped me to increase focus and attention and you too can try them and find out your favorite way. Over time, I will keep updating the post if I discover any other way to help with my brain training.