My Mind, the Time Thief
“Finally, I have some time to write!”, I excitedly thought to myself today, as I was planning my day. But before I could spend some quality time in my office; I went to work, cleaned, made dinner, cooked Luna’s food (she’s my lovely rescue canine), took her to the dog park, and for a walk. After finally being done with everything around 8 pm, I made myself a huge mug of decaf kombucha green tea and sat down in front of my computer, ready to knock a blog post out of the park.
As I was turning my computer on, I suddenly got tired and my thoughts started to drift away. I quickly brought Luna’s bed to the office and put it next to my desk for some good luck and writing support. What actually ended up happening though, I took a picture of her and posted it to my Instagram story, and proceeded to look through everyone else’s Instagram stories.
I regained control of my mind after about 20 minutes of mindless tapping. I felt bad about the time wasted, but at least I was back in business!
On my late evening walk with Luna, I was inspired to write about my deep connection with the moon. I started to write the blog post, but after about 3 sentences my mind went blank, and I came down with a case of writer’s block. Oh no!
For inspiration, I thought I’d go online and search for articles about the moon and its connection with mind, body, and soul. I opened Firefox, and there on the first page was an article about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. As I am one of the hopeful people to have my student loans forgiven after 10 years of working in a public service job, I clicked on the article right away and spent about 15 minutes reading it. After I was done, I clicked on another related article and then on another.
I yet again regained control of my thoughts and I was back to writing about my favorite natural satellite of the Earth. I wrote one more sentence and then deleted it. I habitually picked up my phone and played Design Home. I decorated about 3 rooms before I regained control and put my phone back down.
You get the pattern here right?
My mind is a wandering time thief. It constantly wanders away from me, and I have to regain control over it, every time I am doing something that requires deeper thinking. I not only get distracted by my phone but also social media, google, TV, the books on my bookshelf, the fly in my room, the trees outside, etc. I find 100 other things I suddenly want to do, instead of what I am supposed to be doing. “My mind seems to find a way to constantly steer me in the opposite direction of where my heart wants to go. ” I am committed to writing. It is my dream to become a published writer. I simply love it. So why is it so hard sometimes?
Does that happen to you too? Some people call it procrastination, some call it laziness. I personally think that we are overwhelmed. During the day we are doing 20 things at once and have so many responsibilities that it’s difficult for us to focus our thoughts in one place once we have some personal time. That’s also why we tend to be more productive in the morning, which is when I do the majority of my writing, but I know not everyone has that luxury.
Once I realized what was happening to me, I reminded myself of some strategies I can use to keep my thoughts in check and still do some writing. That was actually when I decided to write this blog post, so I can share them with you, my lovely readers! I’ll have to go back to writing my post about my moon connection later.
Over the years I used these strategies to help keep my mind from drifting and stay focused on what I was doing;
1. Deep breathing.
I learned from many spiritual teachers that deep breathing can help relax our minds and body. Here is what you do. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath, and then breathe out for 4 seconds. According to Dr. Christiane Northrup, this is one of the simplest types of meditation. It helps you to calm your mind and raise your vibrations.
2. Set the timer.
Set your timer for 10-20 minutes of writing, or finishing a project you are working on, and then take a short break. I find that taking breaks helps me keep my mind sharp and focused.
Stretching does wonders for the brain. Start where you feel tightness in your body, or simply do a few neck rolls, arm circles or child poses. Stretching can help keep your brain healthy and more active. According to Suzanne Martin, a physical therapist; “stretching affects not only our muscle system but also our neurological system, which includes the operation of the brain”.
Dehydration can cause mood swings, it reduces your cognitive and motor skills and it affects your memory. Try finishing a project when you are sad, can’t focus, and remember your own ideas, am I right? To keep that from happening, please drink plenty of fluids. I mean mostly water and/or herbal teas. Caffeine, alcohol, and sugar can negatively impact your mind and cause dehydration, so steer clear from that coffee!
Those are some of my strategies for staying focused and keeping your thoughts on task. They helped me today to finally finish writing this blog post, HALLELUJAH. I hope that you find them helpful and incorporate them into your life. If you have any other tips, please leave them in the comment section! I’d love to hear from you.
I “pause” to help me stay present and focused. I even set daily reminders in my phone for it. I think of “pausing” as a little reset button. I close my eyes, clear my mind, and count to three slowly. That simple. I feel clearer and more focused by the time I get to three.
That’s a great suggestion. I love it, and will also set a reminder on my phone from now on. Thank you for sharing!