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Tame Your Scatter Brain Like a Boss

We all have moments where we lose track of the million things we need to do. Come check out our best strategies for getting back on the right path!

Your brain is an incredibly special thing, and the reality is we rely on it for pretty much everything. Everything from basic life functions, like breathing and reflexes, to complexities, such as critical thinking and long-term memory, happens in the brain. 

We rely on our brains to walk, talk, eat, drink, laugh, love, and just about everything else. However, when one three-pound object is responsible for so much, it can easily get overloaded.

For many of us, that manifests itself in moments of feeling scatterbrained. We all know the frustration of rifling through drawers in the morning looking for the house keys or rushing to an appointment only to realize you scheduled it for the day after. Life constantly takes sharp turns, leaving you overwhelmed and confused by an ever-growing to-do list.

Luckily, with a little help from our team at The Good Patch, even the most scatterbrained of us can find peace of mind!

How Do I Focus Better?

If you’re feeling scatterbrained and unable to get through your growing to-do list, try these tips tomorrow and see where you land!

Drop the Multitasking

The truth is, we aren’t built to multitask at a high level. We get it — it feels like you have so many things to do, and the only answer is to do everything all at once. 

However, research shows that switching back and forth in this way most likely ends up taking more time than if you were to complete one task at a time.

Of course, we can do some things at the same time. For example, as much as your mother might scold you, we all know it’s possible to talk while eating. Problems arise when you need to do tasks requiring more effort. 

It isn’t realistic to think you are doing your best writing while also listening to (and understanding) a lecture. Instead of successfully getting it all done, you are just fatiguing your brain and wasting time trying to shift your focus from one job to the next. 

As tempting as it can be, avoid multitasking as best you can!

Write It Down

While the brain has a powerful ability to remember things, there is no reason to overdo it. Give your mind a rest and transfer all those brilliant thoughts to paper!

Making a physical to-do list is super helpful to clear out space in your brain to get other stuff done. We are programmed to constantly categorize information and look for patterns, so organizing thoughts and tasks on paper gives you yet another chance to soak it up and check everything off that to-do list. 

There’s no need to stress over your memory failing you when you can write it all down.

Take a Technology Time-Out

Computers and smartphones are perhaps the most helpful piece of technology we have. At times, however, our dependence on technology can be detrimental. 

Many of us bounce all day between working on a laptop to scrolling through social media to the many other forms of technology we use for work or entertainment. The consistent flow of information into our brains can be too much to handle. Try setting aside designated times of the day when you won’t be checking email or watching TV. 

Giving your brain a break from the endless exposure to screens and data will allow it to rest and be back to full form before you know it. Just like our phones need to restart now and then, so do our minds.

Try To Be Mindful

Our attention is always being pulled this way and that, and mindfulness is a way to bring the mind back to one focal point. Consider being mindful a way to reset your brain’s attention, so it has the energy to deal with everything else when it needs to.

One major form of mindfulness is meditation. Meditation is a practice you can devote just three minutes to each day; it allows time to be completely present and aware of your feelings and thoughts. 

Though it can be intimidating, there are very few wrong ways to meditate because, at its core, the only real rule is to be self-aware without judgment. As your mind naturally veers off course, gently bring it back to a focused place.

It will take some time, but learning to be mindful can have many benefits. Studies suggest that it greatly improves attention while also bolstering mood and relieving stress. 

Keep Things Consistent

Routine is an excellent way to help your brain stay organized and not lose track of whatever you need to get done. A good place to start is to leave your physical things in the same place. Keeping a bowl for keys by your front door or hanging your coats on a rack makes it much easier to find your things again when needed.

As well as making sure you don’t lose your keys, routine throughout the day and week can also help maintain a tidy brain. If you know what's coming next in the back of your mind, it’s much easier to be on time and on top of things.

Plan Your Time

Whether you’re old-fashioned and like to write stuff down in a paper planner or prefer an online calendar, transferring plans from your brain to some other medium is a good idea.

As we discussed, the more space you can free up in your mind, the more brain power you can assign to other tasks. Tracking and managing your time effectively will make for a whole lot less work and stress overall.

Give Yourself a Break

Sometimes you just need a rest, and that’s totally normal. If you find your productivity slipping throughout the day, you are certainly not alone, and taking a break is a fantastic way to reboot your brain. 

Constantly processing work and other responsibilities takes a lot of energy; the only fix is letting your brain recharge.  

Try using a timer to manage your breaks. Allow yourself to work for an hour, then switch it up and spend 15 minutes doing something you enjoy. Of course, not everyone can realistically work in this way, so even just remembering to take a break or two will be a big help.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Making time for the recommended seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep is essential for your mind to work effectively and efficiently the next day.

While sleep is a time when you are shut down from the outside world, your brain remains quite active and continues doing important work. Most of your ability to learn and adapt happens while you’re in your deepest slumber. Sleep is a time for your brain to analyze and organize all the information you take in throughout the day.

Catching enough ZZZs is easier said than done.Try our Dream patch the next time you're turning in for that beauty sleep you deserve. 

Tackle the Challenge

Don’t shy away from a challenge! It’s easy to get distracted if your tasks are too easy or boring. Try to make your work enough of a challenge that you are stimulated, but not so difficult that you feel like you want to give up immediately.

If you are someone whose mind easily leads them astray, be intentional about how you work. You can find the line between too tough and not tough enough with a little effort.

Stay Tidy

As much as those who struggle to stay organized hate to admit it, there is undoubtedly a connection between physical space and the mind. When the space around you is cluttered, odds are your thoughts will be too.

Not having to worry about navigating a messy office all day leaves your brain with so much more capacity to do more important things.

This isn’t to say you need to deep clean your home right this second, but doing your best to keep tidy areas that are prone to accumulate odds and ends will immensely improve your brain’s organization. Start small by making your bed every day, or emptying that one junk drawer, and enjoy the newly free space in your mind!

Conclusion

Getting your day in order doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Take it one step at a time and focus on what you can change about your life rather than lament what you cannot. 

Using the strategies we discussed today, you’ll quickly find your mind can and wants to adapt to your best interests. Finally, check out our Think patch for when you need an extra leg up getting in the zone.



 

Sources:

Brain Anatomy and How the Brain Works | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Multitasking: Switching costs | American Psychological Association 

How the brain assigns objects to categories | MIT News

Can mindfulness change your brain? | Harvard Health

Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

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