By Remez Sasson
It is a habit of the mind to wander. What happens when you sit quietly for a few minutes trying to think about something, or just sit down to relax? Next time you do this, try to watch your mind, and you will discover that it flits around like a butterfly, going from one thought to another.
The mind keeps thinking, worrying, asking questions, answering, giving excuses, telling stories, imagining, creating problems and solving them.
This happens not only while you sit down to relax, but also while working, driving, cooking, eating or doing anything else. This non-stop activity weakens your ability to focus your mind, and as well as interferes with your ability to deal effectively with what you are doing at each moment of the day.
A wandering mind can prevent you from falling asleep, finishing your tasks and work, and completing what you are doing. It also wastes your time and energy, and can be tiring sometimes.
Some people would tell you that if you perform more than one task at a time, you will save time and get more done. This might be true at times, when carrying out automatic tasks that do not require your or attention, but you will get done, and more accurately and efficiently, if you focus on just one thing at a time.
How many times have you tried to do several things at the same time, but ended doing mistakes and then having to correct them? When you focus on one task at a time, you do it more efficiently, easily and quickly. Paying your undivided attention to one subject is a sort of meditation, and this action teaches your mind obedience and discipline. When your mind is obedient and disciplined, it stops wandering, and you are more at peace.
How do you stop your mind from wandering? There is no magic formula. The recipe for stopping your mind from wandering is practice, and more practice, perseverance and patience. Don’t look at this as a boring and tiring work. Consider this as a game that rewards you with a precious prize. A prize that is a powerful tool for making your life better, happier and more successful.
Multitasking is an advantage at certain times, but focusing your mind on one thing, and preventing it from wandering to other tasks or thoughts can save you the time you might waste on correcting errors and mistakes due to lack of attention.
How to Keep Your Mind From Wandering:
- Try focusing on one thing at a time.
- Write one email at a time.
- Eat your lunch Mindfully.
- Drink your cup of coffee attentively.
- Read your book with full attention.
- Drive your car with full attention.
- While conversing, keep your mind on the conversation and prevent it from drifting to the TV screen in front of you, to the noises around you, or to people coming and going.
- If you meditate, focus on the subject of meditation, and when your mind wanders, bring it back.
- Align your mind with what you are doing. Don’t do one thing, while thinking about something else.
- When you catch your mind wandering, bring it back to what you are doing. This might not be easy, but if you keep trying you will gradually succeed.
- Become aware of your thoughts, and always bring your mind back to what you are doing.
For him who has no concentration, there is no tranquility.
Beware of dissipating your powers; strive constantly to concentrate them.
Johann von Goethe
So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it.
If you direct your whole thought to work itself, none of the things which invade eyes or ears will reach the mind.
Books with information and exercises that can help you focus your mind: