A study conducted by Microsoft, showed the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000, or around the time the mobile revolution began, to 8 seconds. Goldfish, meanwhile, are believed to have an attention span of nine seconds!
Yep, we’re being outdone by that beautiful orange fish in the aquarium.
We live in a fast paced society and have become technology dependent where convenience and fast accessibility is valued and demanded. Wanting instant gratification is not just a Millennial stereotype, it’s the reality for all of us. There are fast solutions everywhere. I can access any information at the push of a button, Uber can be here in 3 minutes and the coat I’m ogling online (yes, my attention span waned and I lost focus on this blog so I started to surf the net) can be at my door tomorrow.
I’ll admit that I enjoy all the new conveniences that our digital world offers, however, with that said, I have learned that there is no quick fix for changes in human physiology and human behaviour. As someone who has struggled with weight loss and health issues, I can tell you that committing to a healthy lifestyle that requires commitment, patience, time and focus has been the only solution to sustaining results.
As a trainer I’ve learned that there are no quick fixes in people development. The road to better ourselves and our people is a long continuous one and once again a process that takes commitment, focus and time. To start, when we want to change a behaviour/habit or implement a new one, it takes at least 21 days of consistent, repetitive behaviour. However, sustainability requires ongoing efforts.
Microlearning is all the rage these days. While I’m not knocking it, does anyone really believe you can learn how to effectively sell or, better still, manage staff by watching a series of 90 second videos? Sure, we want to be able to take that shortcut, but that’s just not reality. Microlearning has its place as part of a great reinforcement strategy, but let’s not reduce the reality of true learning to just that.
If you’re out of shape you’re not going to suddenly be fit by the end of the week. If you have a struggling sales performer on your schedule, one coaching session isn’t going to make them a star. A meandering store manager won’t suddenly light up performance after a simple webinar.
Improvement takes time, commitment and resources.
It requires you to be better than a goldfish.