One of the perculiarities of the normal human mind is that it can only hold one thought at a time. Think about the sentence above and you will find what ever you are thinking about gets replaced by that notion. Think about what you had for breakfast and that notion about human thought gets replaced yet again by cereal, toast, fruit or bacon and eggs perhaps.
During the course of each day, our minds will focus on the task in hand for some of the time at the least. There will be times though where we mull over past conversations, or past events. Our minds might wander forwards in time to what we’re having for supper or what we are up to at the weekend.
Our internal dialogue or chatter might replay conversations where we wished we’d come up with that sharp, witty answer. Alternatively, we may be rehearsing a speech or talk we are doing in the future or an awkward connversation we’ve been meaning to have with our boss.
The human mind, while a wondrous thing, is a wandering time machine which constantly slips in and out of the present moment. What’s more it does this all by itself. We can be writing an email or doing the washing up and, all of a sudden, our imagination can whisk us back to a beach on a past holiday or forward in time to an evening out we’ve planned with friends.
So how do we control this tendency for our mind to wander all by itself so that we can increase our efficiency and improve our focus? Surely we have no control over our minds.
Well the answer lies in entering the meditative state with our eyes open. This might sound impossible but it’s something that just takes a little practice.
Remarkably our thoughts can be spoken to. Although, when we speak to our thoughts, we might ask ourselves who is exactly speaking to who!
So if you are working on something and your mind wanders, simply ask the new thought to go away and come back later when you will have time to deal with it. Don’t worry that you might forget it, if it’s important it will come back to you at the most perfect and relevant time.
This might sound simplistic and that’s because it is. Replacement of a thought by another such that the mind goes quiet is essentially the basis of all meditative techniques.
What’s even better about this trick is that, when practiced and mastered, time takes on a more ethereal quality and we end up getting more done in less time.
Tom Evans is an author, a specialist in mindfulness and creativity training and the creator of Bending Time, an innovative approach to time management.
Find our more about Tom, his books, courses and events…
Creator of the Bending Time and Bending Space
Author of This We Know | Flavours of Thought | Planes of Being
The Zone | Blocks & The Art and Science of Light Bulb Moments
Skype id: evanst58