Some things happen when you get older; that’s just the way it is. A part of it can be a gradual change in memory and thinking skills. Sometimes it may take a bit longer to focus or pick up on new information.
This slowdown doesn’t necessarily indicate anything serious but can be frustrating. The bottleneck processing speed may be due to too much info coming into your short-term memory, which lessens what you’ll pick up and ultimately remember.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to help improve focus, so you’ll end up remembering more of what you learn.
Really do your best to focus when someone is speaking to you. Look directly at them and listen closely. If you miss something that they said, ask them to repeat it or speak more slowly.
Paraphrasing what was said can also help you retain information. This not only helps you remember, but it can ensure you correctly heard what was said. So if someone says, “Would you like to go to the park at 3:30 or the movies at 4:30?” say, “Which your you prefer, the park at 3:30 or the movies at 4:30?”
You can also try getting together with people in quieter settings if you’ve been having trouble being distracted by background sounds.
For example, hosting a dinner at your place instead of a noisy restaurant. Or, if you are at a restaurant that can impede hearing, sit at a table near the wall. Have your partners sit with their backs to the wall so you can focus on them and not the other action around you.
Doing one thing at a time is one of the best ways to focus and rub out distractions. So if someone asks you for something when you’re in the middle of reading or working, ask if they’ll wait until you’re finished. And remember, you don’t have to pick up your phone every time you get a call, text, or email!