Take this self-assessment quiz to find out where you stand on the attention-span spectrum.
This quiz was developed with Kathleen Nadeau, director of the Chesapeake ADHD Center of Maryland, in Annapolis.
Rate each statement on a scale of 0 to 3, based on the following criteria:
0 = Not at all like me
1 = A little like me
2 = A lot like me
3 = Just like me
1. I tend to overlook details.
2. It’s hard for me to listen for long periods of time in meetings.
3. I wander from one task to the next without completing them.
4. I jump from topic to topic in conversation.
5. I tend to fidget or doodle.
6. I interrupt others during conversations, even when I try not to.
7. It seems much harder for me compared with others to take care of daily tasks.
8. I pick up and drop hobbies and interests.
9. I have difficulty planning ahead.
10. I’m forgetful.
11. I frequently misplace personal objects.
12. My home and office are cluttered and messy.
13. I tend to run late.
14. I have difficulty developing routines for me or my family.
15. Meal planning is challenging for me.
16. I often start reading books but rarely finish them.
0 to 15: You find yourself lost in thought from time to time, but your concentration level is better than most people’s. Use attention-span strengtheners, such as alternating high-stimulation and low-stimulation tasks and visualizing what you want to achieve, to further sharpen your focus.
16 to 30: Like most Americans, you feel a bit frazzled and drifty on a fairly regular basis. Start by taking a look at where this poses the biggest problem: Do you have trouble at work, or are you disorganized at home? Cut down on known attention zappers in the area that needs the most help: At work, stop reflexively checking e-mails. At home, limit distractions, like TV and the Web. Be more attentive to tasks in both environments by setting a time limit for each job. Creating deadlines can help you stay focused.
31 to 45: You probably feel constantly scattered and as if you can’t get it together. This is frustrating and may also be a sign of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder if you’ve experienced these symptoms since childhood. For more info, visit the site of Children and Adults With ADHD.