It is one of those days when we look around the room and see our teammates staring at their computer screens with laser focus as they jab furiously at their keyboards. As for us? All we could hear is the endless chatters and mind clutters in our heads - from groceries to unresolved matters or our minds going ‘lalalala’.
Then, there’s also the waves of notifications arriving on our electronic devices. The next thing we know, it’s almost lunch time and the task we were planning to complete by then is still staring back at us from the computer screen in the form of a blinking cursor.
You’re not alone.
Understanding the distraction spell
Given the amount of things that are constantly screaming for our attention 24/7, it comes as no surprise that most of us experience the distraction spell at least once a day. The good news is, the spell can be easily broken with some simple tips and tricks.
The key to any solution is to first understand the cause of it. In this case, distractions can be categorized into three groups:
Group #1: Temptations
Temptations include Facebook browsing, messenger chats, an invitation for a road trip or coffee with friends in the sun, anything that makes us feel like we need to choose between whatever we are focusing on and that.
Group #2: Interruptions
Interruptions are known as distractions that disrupts our focus, such as endless questions from a teammate, notifications, reminders, phone calls, loud music from the other room, e-mails, e-mails, and more e-mails.
Group #3: Mind clutters
Mind clutters are notorious for taking us to places against our will. They can be anything from our groceries list, lunch menu of the day, unresolved matter, everything in our mind that is screaming for attention.
The first two types of distractions are external and easy to tackle. All we need to do to remove temptations and interruptions is to engage the help of productivity apps alongside a small dose of discipline. Hit the search engine and we’ll find an endless list of apps that will do the job well.
Mind clutters, on the other hand, are the worst as they are internal distractions. Unless we’re able to remove our minds for a given amount of time, the only way to quieten it and reclaim our focus is to give it an outlet to declutter.
10 minutes of decluttering to regain our focus
All it takes is a simple 10-minute writing exercise to clear our heads of mind clutters.
Instead of jumping at the first instinct to open a new Word document, try longhand writing instead. It doesn’t have to be structured or have a Pulitzer prize worthy storyline.
A mind decluttering exercise can be as simple as writing down our random numbers or repeatedly jotting down ‘I don’t know what to write’ until our minds feel emptied. For those who prefer structures, here are some questions to work with:
- What do I need to know today?
- What do I want to achieve today?
- What is my goal for today?
- How am I feeling today?
- What can I do to make this day better?
The next time the need to roll out a yoga mat in the middle of the office for some ‘Om’ arises, try grabbing a notebook and a pen instead. Sometimes, it’s also okay to indulge in distractions and accept that it is not possible to put everything aside. For example, a bothersome matter (we’re only human, afterall).
If writing is not your thing, replace it with doodling. We only need 10 minutes to say Goodbye to our mind clutters. Besides, you never know when a mind decluttering piece might turn out to be a masterpiece!