Divided Attention Activities

Divided attention occurs when mental focus is directed toward multiple ideas or tasks simultaneously. Divided attention is the most complex form of attention. In more generalized terms, we call divided attention multitasking. Many people often use this attention skill without realizing it. 


Being able to multitask in our modern world is crucial. Those who struggle with divided attention tend to have a more challenging time completing multiple tasks in a short period of time.

divided attention tasks

What is an Example of Divided Attention?

An individual cooking a meal while listening to a loved one talk about their day is an example of divided attention. Other even simpler examples are: walking in a busy street while listening to a podcast, singing along to a song while driving your car, or listening to music while working out. We know that divided attention is used because neither activity is stopped to carry out the other activity.

How do you Assess Someone's Attention Ability?

Generally, a trained clinician will test an individual’s ability to complete sustained attention tasks and selective attention tasks. The Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT) is the most commonly used assessment. For a more intensive attention assessment, a clinician may use the Wechsler intelligence scales to assess an individual’s ability to complete a digit span exercise (a N-back style assessment) and letter-number sequencing (a Hurray for Change style assessment).  

What is the Therapy for Divided Attention?

There is no set protocol for helping individuals overcome divided attention deficits. However, in 2021, researchers in Sweden published a paper concluding that individuals who complete Attention Process Training (APT) have significantly improved processing skills after completing the training session. The APT style of rehabilitation trains sustained, selective, alternating, and divided attention using paper and pencil tasks and computerized tasks, including auditory stimuli.
With this in mind, we suggest using our digital cognitive rehabilitation program, which has many different exercises that work on all of these areas of attention. Additionally, we have attention worksheets that may help individuals practice their attention skills without needing a computer. 

Multitasking Exercise Example

One of our platform’s more popular divided attention tasks is Two Timing. In this game, patients are given both visual and auditory stimuli simultaneously. Your patient will have to read and follow along with the visual task while listening to different instructions from the auditory task. This activity is comparable to a college student taking notes during a lecture. Additionally, we here are a few of our other popular attention tasks: 

divided attention activities, divided attention tasks

Under Pressure

Secret Files

Two Timing

Effective Treatment Assistance

In the hands of a therapist, the divided attention exercises and tasks on our platform can be a very effective part of attention training. Our attention exercises are fully adaptable and customizable, allowing you to gradually increase the speed and rate of the stimuli, which may help your patient develop strong attention skills. To try HappyNeuron Pro with your patients, sign up for a free trial! If you are not a trained therapist, we offer attention-based worksheets for download

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Interested in trying our digital tools?

Pulling from our decades of experience in Cognitive Therapeutics, we aim to help you enrich your practice through the use of digital and paper tools.