Today, attention spans are at an all time low. Studies show, the average attention span has dropped from 20 minutes to a mere 9 seconds over a span of the last twenty years.
This means, people generally only pay attention for short bursts of time ( 9 seconds). One of the reasons for this attention span free fall is the obsessive, distracting patterns technology has on our ability to focus for longer periods.
The take away from this is to boil down important information into chunks. Communicate your message through short bursts of important information and keep people from losing interest.
Also important is to set short term, quick, exciting goals that have an immediate payoff. Just like a video game, you win or lose and get immediate gratification. Goals that are too far in the future will fail to motivate. Shorter term accomplishments towards larger goals will be far more relevant. Goals that are 90 days or less are going to much more impactful.
Twenty years ago, five year goals were a lot easier to accomplish, but with shortened attention spans and distracted lives, they will never stick today.
For instance, if a university degree takes four years to complete, we have to break that goal down into meaningful chunks to keep it inspiring. Getting through one course needs to be a milestone, not to mention all the other short, smaller goals to get there.
Short, exciting goals create urgency.