A man focusing looking at computer screen in a dark room

Can’t Focus? Try Andrew Huberman’s 60-Second Attention-Boosting Protocol

Staring off into space could actually help your attention span.


hether you have a condition like ADHD or just routinely get hit with midday brain fog, losing your focus while you’re chipping away at an important task is annoying. And getting back on track can feel impossible when your brain just doesn’t want to cooperate. But there’s an easy way to re-focus without shutting your laptop or going for that second (or third) cup of coffee. 

In an episode of the Huberman Lab podcast, longevity expert and neuroscientist Andrew Huberman, Ph.D., explains the connection between visual focus and attention span. 

“More than 40 percent of our brain is involved in vision in some way or another,” Huberman explains. “What is less obvious is that you can learn to increase your cognitive focus abilities by practices of visual focus and attention.”

Huberman swears by two easy protocols to harness visual input to improve focus—and you don’t need to leave your desk to try them. 

Fixed-Point Visual Focus

This protocol takes only a minute and almost no effort to divert your attention back to the task you’re trying to complete. Huberman recommends picking a fixed point and focusing on it for one to three minutes. Blinking is fine. Breathe normally and stay relaxed.

“By focusing on that location and by forcing yourself to refocus, you are encouraging the circuits for focus to get better at focusing for longer and longer,” Huberman explains. “[Do] this just prior to doing cognitive work if you’re feeling distracted.”

Cognitive focus tends to follow overt visual focus (what you’re looking at), Huberman says. This is why people put blinders on horses, or wear a hat to obstruct their vision while working.

And one last thing. “Don’t make the fixation point your phone; duh.”


If you’re struggling to hold your gaze in one position, trying Huberman’s closed eye protocol can help you boost your focus and lower your stress-levels if your mind is racing from a difficult task. 

“There are data showing that a brief, 8-13 minutes per day (closed eyes) meditation can enhance cognitive focus,” Huberman says. “But under those conditions, you want to direct your ‘mind’s eye’ to a location just behind your forehead.”

And you’ll still get the focus-boosting benefits even if you’re a meditation novice or briefly lose concentration (1).

“It is normal to have your attention drift during either of these two practices, but simply redirect it back to where it needs to be,” Huberman says. “Both have been shown to improve cognitive focus during bouts of activity that required deep attention.”