Little Changes I See: My Diminished Attention Span

It’s pretty bad. My attention span that is. I have noticed a big difference in my ability to stay focused since I became a volunteer. I think the change is easy for me to see because my lifestyle is so different than what it used to be. Going straight from being a graduate student in a Master’s program to a PC volunteer was not the easiest thing.

As a student I was able to stay focused for hours at a time. I was able to be completely engrossed in what I was doing whether it was reading or writing. Some of my most productive days and most prized writing projects were academic, coffee-fueled binges. If I was writing, I would listen to good music and let my thoughts and fingers fly. If I was reading, I would tune out the rest of the world and speed read page after page after page while taking really good notes.

Nowadays I cannot make it through a paragraph without thinking of something else, checking my phone or completely abandoning the article. I find myself jumping around the page. But not in the productive and efficient way. Im not reading subtitles, looking for key words or topic sentences. I am jumping because it feel like my eyes and thoughts can’t sit still.

This isn’t a big deal for my work as a volunteer. I am still able to be productive and accomplish tasks. But it is a bit concerning for when I am done here and need to find a writing job or become a student again (maybe a PhD. in environmental sociology). I would have a pretty steep learning curve to get back to the mindset I would need in order to be a productive reader, writer or learner. Only time will tell.

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