Focus

Easy Ways to Refocus a Wandering Mind

Do you want to discover what Steve Jobs believed to be the most important secret to success? “Focus and ease… You can move mountains once you get there. Stephen Jobs. And today, more than ever, this conviction is crucial. A genuine universe of knowledge and amusement is at your fingertips. We all have such straying minds these days, so it makes sense.

We should be more frugal with our spending of attention now that it is practically money thanks to the internet and cellphones. In fact, someone who can maintain their attention is not only more likely to do more, but will also likely feel better content at the end of the day as a result.

Easy Ways in Refocusing a Wandering Mind

Further, a person who is focused may be able to accomplish their goals more readily; for example, they may be able to receive a promotion at work or lose twenty pounds. Well, in this article, the answers to the following questions will be discussed.

  • What Is a Wandering Mind?
  • What Leads to a Wandering Mind?
  • Is It Bad to Have a Wandering Mind?
  • How to Stop a Wandering Mind?
  • How to refocus a wandering mind?

Read more: Common ways you can use to increase concentration

What Is a Wandering Mind?

Have you ever taken some time to unwind or reflect on a certain topic? The next time you do this, you need to keep an eye on your thoughts. As the term implies, a wandering mind flits about like a fly.

It never stops pondering, wondering, fretting, generating issues, envisioning, and coming up with workable answers. Not only does this occur when you are relaxing, but it also occurs when you are driving, eating, or cooking. Negative and self-centered thoughts thrive in a wandering mind. According to a Harvard study, unhappy people are more likely to have wandering minds.

Human minds are restless, and restless minds are unhappy minds. An emotional price must be paid for the cognitive accomplishment of thinking about what is not happening.

Being distracted makes it more difficult to concentrate and solve problems. Focusing on an activity unrelated to the crucial ones and dozing off, will also keep you from finishing important activities. The terms daydreaming or fantasy are other prevalent labels for mind wandering.

Read more: 5 ways of staying focused while working from home with children

What Leads to a Wandering Mind?

Although the precise cause of mind-wandering is unknown, studies conducted in lab conditions have revealed a network of neurons that have been connected to the condition. Some of the cortical regions that deal with behavior and emotions interact with this network.

This network typically operates when a person is sleeping or engaged in non-attentional activities. A wide range of mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder, have been related to modifications in this network’s default state.

Is It Bad to Have a Wandering Mind?

Your performance and productivity are negatively impacted by having a wandering mind in several ways. It also has an impact on your quality of life. Here are a few justifications provided by cognitive research for why mind-wandering is harmful. the following are reasons why it is bad to have a Wandering Mind.

  • Lack of awareness
  • inability to understand
  • lack of concentration
  • Depression

Lack of awareness

Being conscious of your surroundings is challenging when your mind is racing. Accidents including bumping into people or objects, falling, and disobeying traffic signs are frequently the result of this. One of the main factors contributing to accidents on most roadways is a lack of knowledge.

inability to understand

It’s possible for a worker or student to misunderstand what is being explained to them. And this will result in serious failures. It is more difficult for someone with a wandering mind to read and listen to their daily tasks or to follow their line of thinking.

lack of concentration

Your ability to concentrate on demanding tasks is compromised by a wandering mind. And this could be taken to mean that they don’t want to be left out of activities. It also makes it more difficult for you to persevere with tiresome, dull, or time-consuming chores. Additionally, you’ll wind up making careless errors if you work on a task at unexpected times.

Depression

Stress and depression are two common effects of a wandering mind.

Read more: Best Daily Planner Apps to Increase your Productivity

How Can I Keep My Wandering Mind Under Control?

If you have issues concentrating, or you’re feeling depressed your top priority should be on how to keep your wandering mind under control. Earlier, we discussed that Human minds are restless, and restless minds are unhappy minds. An emotional price must be paid for the cognitive accomplishment of thinking about what is not happening. Well, in this article, the common ways that can be used in refocusing a wandering mind will be stated and discussed.

How to refocus a wandering mind

The following are the common ways we can use in refocusing a wandering mind:

  • Discover Your Totem
  • Make a Reward Promise
  • Step into the Zone of Flow
  • Make It Stupid Easy for Your Wandering Mind.
  • Journaling Can Help You Clear Your Mind.
  • Make use of the “Just 5 Minutes” Approach.
  • Recite a Focus Mantra.
  • Make use of the “Multi-Yawn” Approach.
  • Find an easy win
  • Make a “Wins” list.
  • Stakes should be added.

 

Find Your Totem

Do you recall the totem from the film Inception? When they touched it, it served as a reminder that they weren’t dreaming and helped to keep them in the present. This concept can be applied to maintaining focus as well. Find something to serve as your “concentration totem” and it will serve as a constant reminder to put your work first and stop daydreaming. It should ideally be something you can touch and see.

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Both the chess piece and the spinning top that was used in the movie are smart ideas. To help you concentrate, you might also wear a ring, use a family photo, or utilize a small trophy. (A green lantern ring would actually be pretty amazing for this.)

Make a Reward Promise

The obvious choice is to use incentives. Any journey that culminates in gold makes you want to keep going for the rewarding experience. In general, rewards should be in proportion to how difficult or time-consuming the activity is.

Take for example

  • One piece of candy for completing a quick household task
  • 10 to 15 minutes of Facebook after completing a tedious administrative activity
  • A full Netflix movie can be found after a productive day of work.

Pretty easy stuff, right? But you’d be amazed at how frequently you fail to acknowledge yourself for consistently producing quality work.

Step into the State of Flow

A well-known expert in positive psychology named Mihály Cskszentmihályi proposes the concept of “state of flow” by claiming that when one is intensely focused on a particular activity, one’s mind is completely engaged since the human nervous system is incapable of absorbing too much information. One technique to achieve a long-lasting feeling of contentment is to enter the flow state, which stops your mind from daydreaming.

Imagine you’re a musician who is writing a song. It is easy to envision that your thoughts will be entirely consumed by musical notation, leaving you with little time to even consider what to eat for lunch. Most of our anxieties and concerns are put on hold when we are in the State of Flow because we are fully present.

Read more: 13 practical ways you can use to become more productive

Make It Stupid Easy for Your Wandering Mind

I don’t know about you, but if I feel that my task requires more effort than I want to put forth, I become immediately bored. Procrastination and distraction are the results of this. However, you can counteract this by dividing challenging work into manageable chunks. For instance, which looks more manageable: 30 pushups or 3 pushups?

Even though it seems simple, there are instances when our brains need to be “persuaded” that we are only exerting minimal effort in order for things to go forward. The wonderful thing about this strategy is that you can continue to surpass your very simple benchmark. You don’t have to, but from my experience, once you begin going in this way, it’s simple to go above and beyond your initial, minimal objective.

Journaling Can Help You Clear Your Mind.

Sometimes your mind wanders because there is too much information swirling around in it. To clear some space, it could be helpful to write down anything that’s on your mind in a journal. For this, you can use a pen and paper or a digital tool like Evernote.

The following are 2 common ways of making use of Journaling:

  • Freestyle
  • Focused

 

Freestyle – where you simply write whatever comes to mind without stopping or thinking. If your mind is racing with a thousand different thoughts, this is fantastic.

Focused – where you formulate questions or an outline to present your ideas and just reply to the structure. When you want to fully understand a subject, do this.

Make use of the “Just 5 Minutes” Approach.

Consider promising yourself that you will work for “only 5 minutes” and then quit. You’ll notice that the assignment seems much simpler to complete. Similar to the “stupid easy” approach, this deceives your brain into believing a task requires less effort than it actually does. After all, even the most difficult work may be completed in 5 minutes, which is psychologically doable for everyone.

The secret is to always give oneself permission to stop after 5 minutes. That’s what enables your brain to recognize the approach as legitimate and enables it to go over the mental barrier that causes it to want to stray and concentrate on things other than your task.

Recite a Focus Mantra.

Mantras, in my opinion, are portable totems that you may use everywhere you go. Although they can be done anywhere and at any time, they both have the same objective of reminding you to stay focused.

I believe mantras based on nature are the most effective kind. Dr. Jon Fader, a performance coach who has been on “Good Morning America,” taught me this strategy in his book Life as Sport: What Top Athletes Can Teach You About How to Win in Life. This is what he means by “objective optimism.”

You basically develop a mantra based on your own particular accomplishment in life. In this way, the mantra has more weight than just fluffy positivism; it also has the weight of actual success.

Take for example

  • Even though you’ve officially been to the gym a lot of times, if you’re having trouble getting yourself there, you may rationalize it by saying, “Just another day of going to the gym—easy.”
  • Say “I’m here for a reason” to yourself to convince yourself that your efforts were noticed by others and that you are the real deal if you find yourself experiencing imposter syndrome after accepting a promotion.
  • You can tell yourself, “I’ve done all the work possible,” when you’re anxious about a forthcoming sporting event but have prepared meticulously for it. This can help you remember that your preparation has made you the greatest potential candidate for the occasion.

Make use of the “Multi-Yawn” Approach.

Being fatigued is one of the best ways to become distracted. Additionally, there are instances when you’ll be so worn out that you’ll pretend to be working while actually being continually distracted.

I like to produce as many loud, pleasurable yawns as I can if you can detect when I do this. Olympic competitors occasionally practice this prior to major competitions. They become more at ease as a result, improving their performance. And it functions just as effectively for us common people. You can imagine how effective this can be because, in my experience, it has a similar effect to a nice nap (and actually works best when done simultaneously).

Find an Easy win

Nothing is as satisfying as success. Therefore, it can be helpful to choose a few straightforward chores you can complete quickly. By doing this, you’ll build momentum and increase your productivity. The sense of accomplishment will keep your attention on the subject at hand and concentrate your distracted mind. Use this if you experience “resistance” to starting your work.

Make a “Wins” list.

Motivation comes from the inside when one believes they are capable and can succeed in life. As a result, having a running record of accomplishments might be useful in establishing your competence. Just record all of your everyday victories, no matter how tiny. And if you find yourself losing concentration, take a look at that list to reaffirm your abilities.

Stakes should be added.

Would you be more committed to finishing a task if you stood to lose $50 if you didn’t do it? Of course!

Your focus, motivation, and capacity to get things done will be higher than ever if you try to find ways to put something on the line when it comes to finishing your duties.

If you’re at work, for instance, you may include a coworker by daring to pay for their lunch if you don’t finish a task by midday. If you don’t remember to wash the dishes before the day is done, you may promise to mow the lawn as well at home. Or you could simply use a program like Beeminder or TaskRatchet, which really fines you money if you don’t finish a task or goal by the deadline. (It scares me, but it works.)

In summary

It is more difficult to focus and solve problems when one is distracted. It will also prevent you from finishing vital tasks by directing your attention away from them and dozing off.  That is all for this article, where the following questions are being answered:

  • What Is a Wandering Mind?
  • What Leads to a Wandering Mind?
  • Is It Bad to Have a Wandering Mind?
  • How to Stop a Wandering Mind
  • How to refocus a wandering mind

I hope you learn a lot from the reading, if so, kindly share with others. Thanks for reading, see you around!