Brain Hipster

The Brain Innovation Project

One Brain. Infinite Possibilities.

Have you ever planned on getting some important focussed work done, only to be interrupted every few minutes by phone calls, meetings, questions? Of coure you have. Once distracted, it can seem really hard to get ‘back in the zone’. In fact, this scenario is probably the bain of your professional life.

Here are two quick and easy techniques to get back to that creative focus in less than a minute. Can it really that easy?

Don’t just take my word for it – try it out for yourself….

The most difficult thing is not whether it works (it does) but to actually remember to do it.

1. Closing The Tabs

Introduction: Think of each thought as an open tab on a computer screen. When you want to close a tab, you click on that little ‘x’ on the side. You can do the same with your thoughts when you are distracted and they will simply stop coming, allowing you to easily start to re-focus on what you really want to do.

Technique: Close you eyes. Every time a distracting thought or image comes into your mind, simply imagine that you are closing the tab (the thought) by quickly winking one eye. You will quickly notice that after just a few ‘clicks / winks’ the thoughts just stop coming and you are free to start focusing again. If they start again, then repeat the process.

Tip: If you have trouble switching off your thoughts at night when you want to go to sleep, try it.

Think Differently

2. Staring at a Spot

Introduction: When we want to concentrate on a piece of work, the issue is not really so much about concentrating on that particular thing, so much as getting into a ‘state of concentration’. So, what you want to do is concentrate intently on something and then switch to the task at hand; ‘transferring’ or ‘bringing over’ that state of concentration.

Technique: Open the document or thing you want to concentrate on so that it is ready. Pick a spot on the wall in front of you and stare at it intently, focussing all of your energy on to it. You don’t need to think about it. Just focus on a spot. After about 30 seconds (when you attention is fully on that spot on the wall), simply switch (glide) to the piece of work you want to do, staying in ‘the state of concentration’. You can also use this in any situation (e.g., beginning of an exam) where you need to focus but are feeling distracted.

Tip: If you find that the piece of work you are trying to do is boring, imagine that the spot on the wall contains everything positive and exciting and interesting in the world (sounds a bit weird, but it’s pretty easy). This will get you into a positive state. Then just switch to the piece of work and you will bring that positive focus with you. Just make sure you don’t start to analyse it, as then you will break the state.

Of course, you can combine the two techniques. First slow down the thoughts (getting rid of negative distractions) then stare at the spot on the wall (encouraging positive focus).

But don’t just like or share – give it a go. How did this work for you?

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