My Stories

Busy Mind and How To Focus

If my thoughts can speak, they would buzz like a crowded nest of wasp.

We expose ourselves to all kinds of information everyday, and our brain is the only organ that re-arranges and sorts out those pieces of information. Thoughts occur as the consequences of the arranging process. Our brain is the intersection of scattered thoughts running wildly in those tiny bone frame. More often than not we’ll get that “traffic jam” where current thoughts and new information meet, even the past thoughts come to join the party when we need to connect the dots.

I found myself extremely hard to focus in one thing at a time. Especially I’m the perceiving type of personality — which means I tend to forecast and think ahead of time. This trait has saved my life many times from awkward and unpredicted situations (because basically I think of all situations that could happen beforehand), but at the same time wasting my time and kill my current joy. Long before I didn’t know this part of mine, and I had been suffering from it for a while, I couldn’t be truly happy for the moment as in my head the fear of unseen future, fear of failure and abandonment keeps me awake and alert all the time.

So as I realized I need to work on that.

  1. I force myself to put down a to-do-list, from big events to small tasks like making a short call or buy errands.
  2. I use Calendar more. Scheduling my day will help me calculate how much time I have on the day, then set time for certain tasks.
  3. Phone faced down. Messages are distracting. Finish whatever you are doing first, check your phone later.
  4. Keep notes of my current project. At first this took me sometimes to get used to, but since I have so many projects going on and each of them requires a list of tasks such as numbers, reports, comments, I hold back a bit before jumping into another task to update necessary information to my Notes. And it saved me tons of time when I need to get back to that project later on, no more searching my inbox for information.
  5. Set a physical challenge: swim 5 rounds in a row, run for 15 mins, hike up a hill, etc.
  6. Set mental challenge: reading non-stop in 30 mins, play 5 mind games continuously, talk to a friend on a phone with no other distraction.
  7. Listen to music: recently I’m loving Spotify’s playlist “Stay Sharp” — a list of electric music that helps to boost your ability to concentrate.
  8. Pause. Before starting to think about something, I take a short break for 1–2 minutes to get rid of the previous thoughts, and most importantly, to shake off emotions. Nothing affects your mind as emotions, so to be able to think clear and straight, better get them out of your head.

Those are what I did to keep balance, how about you? Leave me a comment and let’s discuss!

Ginny.

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