My apologies, but this article is going to begin like one of those infomercials.
Do you have a hard time focusing on the task at hand? Does the latest sitcom keep distracting you from work? Do you find it hard to get your work done without getting distracted every 5 minutes?
If your answer to any of those questions was yes, well then high five to you brother ‘cos we’re in the same boat. It used to be pretty hard for me as a kid to keep myself concentrated on one thing. And if that one thing was a textbook from school, within 5 minutes I would be doodling something on the last page. But then I came across some pretty solid stuff that helped me through those years and taught me enough to focus my energy on one thing at a time for quite a long time. For instance, writing a post like this one would’ve been impossible for me without going off topic. You might still find remnants of that boy’s writing in some of my ancient posts from 6 years ago. Anyhow, without letting the distracted soul in me take you memory hopping; let’s dive into the things that might come in handy for you.
Get your drink on
Wut? No, I didn’t mean get your hard drink on. My exams in high school brought me closer to coffee and almonds. This weird ‘snack’ during those hours at night while studying kept my hands and mouth busy, so my brain could focus on the task at hand. When I really looked into stories from other kids with similar issues, I came across this term called ‘wavering energy’. Think of it like this annoying ghost that keeps drawing your attention towards otherwise boring things, but it makes them look interesting. For example, you could be studying physics from your usual textbook and right that moment, you’d realize how you never saw how beautiful the pencil you’re holding really is. You feel like studying the corroded graphite tip and wonder how they make the darn thing. Getting a warm drink while doing something gets your ghost busy, and lets your mind function as it should.
Get a stress ball or any stress toy and get bored with it
Have you seen those yellow smiley balls that squish pretty well in your palms? Get one of those. Like I mentioned in the point above, there’s energy wavering about that needs to be utilized in some way before it ends up making you feel restless and thus, distracted. Stress balls are made for this very purpose, and there’s a whole industry of products made for the anxious. But my advice is that you get one that isn’t too stimulating, nor too boring to begin with. It might break your attention initially, but if it is the moderately stimulating type, you’ll probably get used to it. How that helps? It keeps your ghost busy while your brain functions. Most ways of dealing with a distracted mind go like that, or so I thought.
Meditate using sounds that manipulate your brainwaves
You wouldn’t have been this interested had I just said ‘meditate’. That’s what helped me though. But it wasn’t easy to get started. When it’s already difficult for someone to sit still, it’s a herculean task to sit still while you empty your mind focusing on your breathing. Thank your stars for being born in the 21st century and search the web for some ‘binaural beats’. These are sound tracks with two different beats running at different frequencies, blending in ways that manipulate your brainwaves. With the right ones and a good session with some, you can end up feeling calm, relaxed, focused, more creative or even aroused. It really depends on the type of track you listen to. YouTube is filled with binaural beats that can make you feel all sorts of things you can imagine. All you need to do is close your eyes, lie down, put in those earphones and play your track. Oh, and breathe deeply.
Train the ghost of distraction
If nothing else works, try this one. Think of you and the ghost of distraction as two different entities. Imagine this ghost is the pet you never wished to have, but now you do. And you must train it. This ghost craves attention and obsesses over trivial matters. Now that you know what it craves the most, you would need to discipline yourself into giving him enough to sustain but not enough to be spoiled. Give yourself a few hours of uninterrupted entertainment, but only when you’ve achieved the goal of the day. This goal is nothing but a to-do list that you’ll need to abide. Check off a completed task, and go have fun.
From my experience, you would have to use a combination of all these four ways to beat this ghost that distracts us all. But if I could do it, I’m pretty sure you can do it too.