We will often distract ourselves as we look for things to do other than the task at hand, which is usually “work.” It’s the human condition to avoid focusing on the things we need to get done, usually immediately.
Productivity then begins to slide, the homework doesn’t get completed, the report isn’t written, the household chores not done. Blame this on procrastination.
You’re wanting to read that book, but your mind constantly wanders back and forth while getting distracted, thinking about a comment someone made on Facebook.
You desperately need to write something, but that small ever present voice in the back of your mind interferes and convinces you to check your email instead.
Think of how much more productive you can become once you dedicate complete focus on whatever you’re doing, rather than your mind wandering all over the place at random.
There has to be an effective method, a better structure of training yourself to focus better when you need to.
Learning this would then make you a lot more effective and efficient, allowing you to control your thinking a lot better.
Tricks To Training Your Mind To Perform Better
There is method, a way of influencing your motivation, which improves performance when it comes to thinking of doing and completing certain tasks.
This training behavior adopts elements of meditation, which helps you become a lot more aware of what your thought patterns are.
You can do so by doing certain mental exercises such as concentrating on an isolated taste or smell, for instance.
You are then able to recognize how other thoughts are able to intrude on your own current experiences.
The training helps you to learn how you can avoid suppressing thoughts actively, which can then make them more likely to have those unwanted thoughts filtering in.
A Controlled Study On Training The Mind
A study involved two groups of University students, which were randomly assigned to perform a task.
The first group was placed in a 2 week mind training program for better focus, and the other group in a 2 week program which involved better nutrition and healthier eating.
These students were given the same analysis test, before each of their respective programs, and another test after the program.
The pre-test was a standard reading comprehension test, along with what’s known as a working memory test.
What working memory refers to is the amount of information you can immediately use which is resident in the short term, at the present moment while still in the process of thinking.
The more your mind begins to wander randomly, the less of this “working memory” you have or use to focus on the immediate task you need to do.
During the testing, the participants were asked questions such as if their mind was wandering, while during the testing period. Some were also interrupted at random.
They were asked if they were thinking and concentrating on the test, or if they were having other thoughts which were completely unrelated to what they were working on.
Two Different Tests Two Different Results
The participants who were given the nutrition testing, displayed no actual or reliable difference when it came to their performance on either test.
So there wasn’t any measurable difference from the beginning to the end of the entire testing period during the study. The number of mind-wandering thoughts appeared to not change at all.
The participants who did the mind training program showed improvement on both the reading comprehension as well as the working memory tests. The mind wandering also decreased.
The tests which were based on statistics demonstrated the improvement in the actual scores were related to the decrease in the mind actually wandering itself.
Is It All In The Mind
So what this testing and research suggested and solved was that when it comes down to thinking smarter, you yourself may be your own worst enemy.
The difficulties which you may have when it comes to concentrating can have a direct impact on your ability to be able to learn information along with solving new problems.
The ability for you to focus properly is usually affected by a few factors. It begins with the busy information environment which you find yourself in. These interruptions can be continuous and repeated interruptions from interferences such as, email, cell phones, texting, and the Internet.
All of these influences can draw attention from what you’re attempting to accomplish. Also, when your mind does wander, it obviously also affects your thinking process.
Mindfulness Training Methods
Any direct training on mindfulness, similar to the one in the controlled classroom setting is just one ingredient in an entire set of programs which will make you concentrate better.
What this training does is it helps you in learning more about your own thinking patterns, which will ultimately help you to sustaining and controlling your attention.
In addition, what you need to do is spend more time when it comes to controlling your immediate environment. When you have difficult work which you need to do, just shut off your email and place your smartphone out of sight and mind. Begin by removing all of the mental distractions from your immediate environment.
The less that your mind wanders randomly, the more effective that you’ll be able to think and focus in the direct moment to complete your tasks at hand more efficiently.