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You’re about to clock into work or sit down for class and you’re ready to work. When you open your laptop, your thoughts start to swarm and an hour passes by without you even realizing it. Your mind might distract you from what you need to do, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Learn how to stop getting distracted by thoughts by reading about these eight simple tips.
Anyone can use these ideas to eliminate distractions and accomplish their goals. It all depends on what works for you. Try these strategies to discover what’s holding you back and how you can propel yourself towards consistent daily success.
1. List Your Goals
It’s challenging to figure out your distractions if you don’t know what you should be doing instead. If you don’t start your day with a list of goals, it’s time to start making them. Write what you’d like to accomplish or the deadlines you have to meet. When you catch yourself thinking about things that keep you away from those goals, you’ll know when distractions keep you from being productive.
2. Keep a Journal Nearby
Some people get distracted more than others. You might struggle to catch every wandering or intrusive thought because there are so many. Keep a journal nearby or on your phone so you can write about the distractions as they happen.
It only takes a few moments to log your thoughts, but it pays off later. Use your journal as a reflection tool. Read each entry to learn recurring thought patterns and better fight future distractions.
3. Reduce Your Time Frame
Distractions are more appealing when you have time to waste. You might benefit from reducing the time frame for any work or school-related projects. Adding a little pressure helps people improve their focus, like athletes during intense competitions. Start increasing pressure slowly so it’s not overwhelming and note your anxiety as you work. If you’re too anxious or stressed, this may not be as helpful for you as other tips.
4. Choose Three Tasks
Distracted thoughts could keep you from getting things done because you worry about not finishing everything. Increasing anxiety might make your thoughts more panicked and distracting. You can experience immediate relief by trying quick breathing exercises and keep your anxiety low by choosing two or three tasks per day.
It’s easier to reduce stress when you only have a few key things to accomplish every day. You could also break one big project into smaller steps so it’s less intimidating. You’ll confidently move through each step and knock out your to-do list.
5. Take More Breaks
Continuous stress increases distracted thoughts and results in stress dreams, but the Pomodoro technique helps with that. If you use this technique, you’ll work in 25-minute segments and take five-minute breaks afterward. Your mind gets a moment to reset and recharge before diving back into things. You’ll stop getting distracted by thoughts when you have the energy to focus.
6. Look for New Challenges
Distractions also happen when you’re bored. Combat that boredom by looking for new challenges. You might take on new responsibilities at work or change your degree. There are always ways to challenge yourself to develop your skills or form new strengths.
As you reflect on how you’d like to grow, you might struggle to identify challenges you’d enjoy. Connect with yourself by discovering your Enneagram type, which opens new layers of your personality. You’ll get in touch with your spirit and grow before you ever take on challenges that capture your interest.
7. Reduce Your Stress
Stress can come from any part of your life, so learn self-care techniques to combat it depending on what kind of stress you’re dealing with. Spending time by yourself, relaxing and nourishing your spirit results in fewer distracting thoughts that pull you away from your goals. It’s a long-term care routine that guarantees more focus over time, instead of just fighting distractions in the moment.
8. Remove External Distractions
Don’t forget to remove external distractions that encourage drifting thoughts. Whenever possible, turn off the TV and mute your notifications. You could also wear sound-blocking headphones if you can’t control the noises happening around you. Journaling will help you figure out which sounds keep you from focusing, if that’s something you decide to try.
Stop Getting Distracted by Thoughts Today
Now that you know how to stop getting distracted by thoughts, play around with these tips. You’ll have a better time at work, school or wherever you spend your time. Get more done and experience greater success without annoying distractions wasting your time.
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