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5 Reasons Why Your Wandering Mind Is Harming Your Productivity

5 Reasons Why Your Wandering Mind Is Harming Your Productivity
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Do you constantly find that your mind goes for a little wander, a little walk around the place? Then you will be quite happy to find out that the way it works in your mind can be adjusted with relative ease. A wandering mind is not a permanent problem and can be associated, most of the time, with something that is going on in your life at this moment in time.

To avoid this from occurring and seeing how you feel when dealing with it, you should consider the following five reasons why your mind may be wandering and what could be behind that;

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Money Troubles

The main one that we find is money troubles. When your business is struggling or you barely have enough to live comfortably, you can find that any task you undertake just reminds you of that money problem.

Escaping that is tough work and will usually be a challenge too far for some, but if you really do concentrate on the project you can find that the money worries can escape your mind and let you be productive enough to maybe actually earn some money!

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Relationship Issues

A lot of us have problems at home or with the people we love in terms of arguments and debates – sometimes, even over money as mentioned above. This dominates your thoughts and what-if scenarios appear like wildfire; you need to prepare for this and get yourself into a mentality whereby it becomes less daunting to think about.

It will take a bit of time and a bit of patience, sure, but doing so will let you feel a lot more comfortable in your own mind and allow you to just relax and chill out a little bit instead.

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Dedicated Problems

Are you struggling to stay dedicated or committed to something? Then the worried of the consequences of staying in or walking away can become a permanent train of thought. If you are struggling to stay committed to something, or someone, it can be a real time consuming thing to think about and worry over. Look into this as soon as you can as you need to find a reason why these commitment problems are so big for you, and how you can get around those problems – this is one that you need to answer yourself, though, no answers exist that you can simply use as a template solution!

Illness

If you are loaded with an illness like a cold or even something more serious it can harm productivity massively. You’ll always be spinning your wehels, so to speak, and will find it hard to get yourself going and up for whatever it is that you need to deal with. It’s best to take the time needed to look around and see hwat the problems might be in your mind, so that you can start adjusting and improving your mentality to fit with the illness until you are healthy again.

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Life Changes

Going through any big change in life – a new relationship, moving house, losing/changing jobs – can all leave you with a mind that simply cannot sit at peace. If you find yourself in this position whereby you don’t know where to start and where to end, you need to look at the root causes and try find a solution to them. If you cannot be productive as your mind cannot focus you need to take the time needed to find that reason why and also come up with the best possible solution for that problem as quickly as you can.

Take the time that you need to make these adjustments in your mind as they will be very important to helping you handle these life changes. Life changes are big things and can leave you unsure of what you are doing and even who you are at times – just take a deep breath and look at the problem. Imagine that someone else was in this situation; what advice would you give them? This will help you come up with a genuine conclusion that you will actually feel like trusting and going alongside as you start to move forward.

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Take the time needed to really understand your position, as a failure to do so can have you blaming things that have nothing to do with your issues, leaving you in a perpetual cycle of never getting anything done or succeeding at your life, always destined to fall behind and fail.

Featured photo credit: http://cdni.https://c1.staticflickr.com via c1.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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