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6 Ways to Get Mind to Focus When It Does Not Seem Your Own

Category: Productivity

Focus
Photo Courtesy of Paul Goyette

It sometimes seems to me that I don’t own my mind, it has choices of its own. I want it to focus, generate ideas, be constructive … (In short do as I say!); And it is busy with it’s own task list. It wanders off into past, future, movies, books, conversations … anything and everything except where I want it to be. Times like these have been really frustrating and a cause of lot of unhappiness. Especially, when a deadline is nearby and I need to focus and be productive.

This was true till I found solution to work with my mind, get it to focus and help it to help me. Here are 6 ways to get mind to focus when it does not seem your own:

1. Deal with it as you would deal with a kid
First and foremost, stop getting agitated about not being in control. The more we resist, the more the problem persists. It’s as if mind is like a child. The more we ask it to not to do something, the more it does the same.

So, if we don’t resist it, what do we do? We allow it to be where it is. And hear it out. What are its concerns. What is so important that it is ignoring our immediate need. Sometimes, sitting in silence for 5-10 minutes is all it takes to get everything out and clearing the mind. Once mind is clear, you are all set to use it the way you want.

2. Let the mind vent out
Sometimes, listening is not enough. Sometimes the need is to to talk, share with someone and offload things within. There could be some sadness, some worry, some pestering thought, if mind could just share with someone or write down, it would be enough to settle down.

3. Give mind clear and specific requirements
Be clear what is it that needs to be done. And what are the steps for doing it. Confused, unclear instructions will not yield satisfactory output. Calm yourself and state in simple and clear language list of things that need to be done and need your immediate attention.

4. Do not overload
Pick up one item at a time and deal with it. Don’t think about others. Be as fast as you can with whatever item you have picked up. Not worrying or trying to focus on other items will help finishing off tasks faster.

5. Take a break – get refreshed.
Sometimes all that’s needed is a little bit of refreshment. And there are so many ways to do this in small amount of time. Here’s my list:

    a. Have some food (if you are ignoring your tummy needs).
    b. Drink some tea/coffee.
    c. Splash your face with cold water.
    d. Go for a walk in nature
    e. Take a bath
    f. Medidate
    g. Hear some music
    h. Work out
    i. Sing a song

6. Be Creative
Last but not the least, this list is not exhaustive. Be creative and find more ways to work with your mind and help it stay focussed.

Books On How To (Increase) Focus And Concentration

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Reader's Comments

  1. khaja naseeruddin | June 29th, 2008 at 4:20 am

    thank you very much for giving this wonderful insight
    i derived many positive points form your blog

    please if possible advice me how to deal with anxiety and improveing
    self confidence

    hoping respond by my mail

    Reply to this comment
  2. Avani-Mehta | June 30th, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Khaja, Thank you for the feedback. And yes, I will mail you.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Tabs | July 28th, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Great one, it is so important to give the mind clear instructions of what you want each day, you will be surprised and how effective that it. The steps also help reduce stress. I must confess I am about to practice at least three of the steps listed above.

    Cheers,

    Tabs’s last blog post..Need a Personal Development Program That Works?

    Reply to this comment
  4. Avani-Mehta | July 28th, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    Hi Tabs,
    Stress is one big distractor. All the best with working on focus. Let me know how it goes. I am very much interested.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Tabs | July 29th, 2008 at 5:47 am

    Hello Avani,
    Actually took a little walk tonight, not too much nature since I live in San Francisco. I am implementing meditation and vitamin C today, I really want to nip this stress thing asap.

    Thanks for your response, I will keep you informed.

    Cheers,

    Tabs’s last blog post..Need a Personal Development Program That Works?

    Reply to this comment
  6. Avani-Mehta | July 29th, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Hi Tabs,

    It’s great to know you are actively taking steps to nip stress. I went through the archives, and found following which could be of help. Do go through them.

    All the best.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Haz | January 2nd, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Hi, great advice.. Im trying to control my mind by focusing on the present and near future..but it always brings me back to pass issues..anxiety and stress were the causes and it constantly reminds me of it.. How can i overcome this and be able to control my taughts. Thanks so much for the advice. Regards

    Reply to this comment
  8. Abhishek | May 21st, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Hi Avani,
    This is Abhishek,
    One of my friend suggested me to read your post and ots seems very nice and helpful for me , i need a fever form you please if possible advice me how to deal with anxiety and improveing self confidence hoping respond by my mail.

    Reply to this comment
  9. I like this very mutch | August 10th, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Please tell me how to control our mind when it goes for a single thought every time.

    Reply to this comment
  10. surya | July 21st, 2011 at 1:10 am

    is their any way to control the wondering mind….

    Reply to this comment
  11. lorena | September 15th, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    thank you very much his has help me a lot of ways !!!

    Reply to this comment
  12. Chris Diamond | January 3rd, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Good article Paul! I like what you are saying about the breaks. After a break, we tend to be more focused at work, because they recharge our system and improve our productivity!

    http://doubletimetoday.com/get-focused

    Reply to this comment

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