There is so much to distract one from doing a continuous stretch of work, in today’s technologically inclined world. The physical distractions, such as checking the RSS reader for new posts, checking out new technology sites on the internet, constantly clicking on ‘send and receive’ button, just to be sure that no emails are stuck somewhere in the network drainpipe and so on are one thing. But apart from this in today’s age of ‘information overload’, there are mental distractions too. Not one, not two but milllions of them.
The disturbing aspect about them is that they have the power to disturb you on a whim. In case of the physical distraction, it is atleast known as an urge due to which you "stop" doing one activity and "start" doing another task. But in case of mental distractions, there are no such defined lines, Several thoughts just hit the various corners of your brain like a pinball machine gone crazy! This especially applies to creative people, who are hit by ideas at anytime any place, without warning! And then…they stop concentrating on the immediate task at hand and drift away thinking about that new idea that came to us. The fallout of this type of a mental make up is that we tend to loseout on the essence of the current activity (usually a meeting or a training).
This happened to me on Monday when I was part of three day Instructer led classroom session, and bang in the middle of the lecture, an idea for a new workshop hit me like a stone. But there was no distraction this time…want to know how? Read on…
Here’s what you can do:
- Always keep an additional small notepad and a pen aside along with your main workbook.
- The moment an off topic thought comes to you (it could be an idea, a reminder, or just memories of a bad argument you had with someone in the morning), write it down on this notepad.
- Write down all that comes to mind without bothering too much about grammer.
- Usually you should be able to do it in 5-6 points and should take less than a minute.
Once you do this, you can actually re-focus on your current activity area and effectively gain from it. It worked for me and I have used this technique a couple of times in the past 2 days and I realize that once it is OFF my mind, I am indeed ‘offloaded’ in the true sense and I do not drift away thinking about it over and over, thereby losing the thread of my current engagement.
It is effective. Try it and I’d like to know if it worked for you too…