Scattered thoughts can make you feel confused and out of sorts. In fact, they can totally disrupt your day and prevent you from getting anything done. When you have so many different thought s swirling around in your head, it’s hard to keep track of what you’re supposed to be doing.
Have you ever arrived somewhere only to realize you had no idea how you got there?
Have you ever laid something down and a few minutes later have no idea where it is?
Have you had a conversation with someone and later have no idea of the main points you covered?
Or have you worked on a project at your desk and repeatedly interrupted yourself by checking emails, your calendar, or going to the kitchen for a snack?
Do these questions resonate with you?
If so, you’re not alone. The average person has about 48.6 thoughts per minute. This constant barrage of thoughts prevents us from staying focused on our tasks at hand. Consequently, we arrive at the end of our day exhausted and wonder what if anything we have accomplished.
We can’t really stop the thoughts from coming into our brain, but we can control how we handle them and give our productivity a boost.
Here are 4 things you can do to focus your scattered thoughts:
Make a list of what you want to accomplish in a day. Be mindful of what is really important at this point in time and choose 3 to focus on. Schedule a time to work on them on your calendar. Break down the tasks into small components and concentrate on them for 15 to 20 min. Set a timer. During that time if an email reminder comes in or a thought unrelated to the task pops into your head, make a note of that interruption and then just let it go. Turn your focus back onto the task at hand. Don’t try to speed things up in order to save time. This just makes you think of what you need to do next. Your brain needs to focus on what is in front of you now.
After your timer goes off take a break. Every 15 to 20 minutes take a five-minute break to stretch your legs and clear your mind. Drink some water. Look at cat videos. Do a breathing meditation. Do whatever refreshes you. Use a timer and at the end of your break, resume your task. After about an hour of this cycle, take a longer break. Refresh yourself and clear your mind.
Heighten your awareness
When taking your breaks be aware of your body and your surroundings. As you sit, are you relaxed in your chair or are you holding your body tight? As you drink your water or other beverage, how does it taste? How does it feel in your mouth? Are you feeling warm or cold? Do you feel a breeze? What are you hearing?
Practicing mindfulness allows you to have more control over your stress and emotions. Reflect on how you are feeling and what you want to change. You will be in a much better place to return to your tasks.
Some sources suggest that we make 35,000 choices a day. While that number seems very high, let’s acknowledge that we make a very large number of choices every day. The more routines we can put into place, the less decisions we must make. Do I get out of bed at 5:00 am or 7:00 am? Do I shower now or in the evening? What do I eat? Should I do the laundry today?
If you have a set time to get up and a set time to shower, you don’t even have to think about it, you just do it. If you have planned your meals, you just eat and move on. If you always do your laundry on Saturday, you don’t have to make that decision over and over. Utilizing routines will eliminate some of those thoughts that interfere with your getting your priorities done.
A cluttered racing mind full of scattered thoughts will leave you overwhelmed and unable to focus. Slow down, simplify your day, reduce your choices, let some things go and you will find that you actually accomplish more, know what you’ve accomplished, and will still have some energy at the end of the day.
Try these tips I’ve shared with you. Feel free to reach out to me for more personalized help or join our clutter support group: Clear Space for you. Click here for information about this semi-private support group.