Ignoring Distractions To Regain Focus and Expand Creativity

“Be so busy improving yourself that you don’t have time to pay attention to anything or anyone that distracts you from your growth.” Anonymous

Photo by Michael Competielle

We Live In A World Of Static

As I step outside early in the morning I recognize the silence and serenity of the early morning. Distance traffic and air travel are at a minimum and the sounds of nature take over as birds are chirping and owls hooting off in the distance. One thing we have learned during the Coronavirus Pandemic is just how quiet the world is or better yet just how noisy our world was.

Remember those times when you would sit in a quiet library as you studied or silently read. What noise distracted you? A sneeze or cough? The squeak of a distance chair? When we are attempting to focus we also need to filter out the noises that disrupt our concentration.

Now let’s imagine we are going to study or read the same material in another environment such as a gym locker room or movie theater playing a Marvel squeal. How much of the room’s noise will distract your mind from absorbing the content you’re trying to obtain?

We live in a world of outside noise and the distraction is like static, hissing in our ears and reducing our abilities to focus and retain information.

How much will you learn with your head in a beehive?

Michael Competielle

How Often Are You Manipulated And Misdirected?

My iPhone quietly rests within a few feet of me at all times. A connection to the outside world, a wealth of information and connectivity. It’s ringtones and alerts silenced in an attempt to minimize distraction as I attempt to sleep, create, or learn.

As a creator of content, my mind struggles to rest as ideas and concepts twist and turn inside my mind like a Rubik’s cube. Complex concepts simplify themselves while I’m at rest, the power of the human brain. I’m always thinking, processing, and discovering.

Often during this precious time, I’ll pick up my phone and mindlessly doomscroll thru Facebook or emails allowing my brain to become distracted and triggered. A relative’s political rants or the barrage of marketing emails begins to fill my brains RAM with static and negative thoughts. How much trash can our mind take before we reach the saturation point? And why do our brains get hijacked during these disruptions?

We are continuously being marketed to. Advertisements blaring from televisions, billboards, inside blogs, and from people’s mouths to our ears. Everyone is always selling and we need to filter out the trash from the treasures.

Brain Plasticity Theory 

The human brain has the ability to change over our lifetime by forming new connections between our brain cells known as neurons. Plasticity is the ability to allow our brain to change with learning. 

But what happens when we stop thinking or even worse our thoughts are hijacked by the outside world? Our mood and focus modified and hindering our ability to maintain proper brain function. 

When we are told how to think or feel about a topic, situation, or product, we are being emotionally highjacked. It’s only through cognitive thinking and analysis that we can honestly make an evaluation.

How To Ignore Distractions

  • Unsubscribe from mailing lists that don’t interest you
  • Remove apps like Facebook from phones and tablets. 
  • Stop watching the news
  • Ignore and avoid people that distract or frustrate you
  • Prioritize yourself by making certain others don’t derail your directive or mood
  • When you are disrupted or triggered try to quickly regain focus

Get Great Sleep

So what exactly happens to our brain during sleep and why is it required? 

When we sleep our brain is cleared (the glymphatic system) of neurotoxic waste in our central nervous system. It is during this valuable sleep time we can incorporate our day’s thoughts and experiences into long term memory. Our glymphatic system is most active during sleep and why we feel refreshed when we awaken. Sleep affects our ability to learn, focus, be creative, problem-solve, and concentrate.

Don’t Hijack Your Day

When I wake up I used to grab my phone and read thru social media posts, emails and watch the morning news. I was starting my morning by altering my cleansed mind with trash and static. I’d quickly forget the connections I’d made while resting and feel overwhelmed and anxious. How can I create or focus on all the troubles of the world in my foreground?

By cleansing the decks of distraction and static I’m keeping my eye on the prize. Mornings are spent listening to audiobooks I’ve prechosen. The words guide can easily be connected to correlate to my present studies or content I’m creating. I’m in complete control of my mind and function as the primary gatekeeper by denying access to the static.

Author: mtcwriter

Michael Competielle is a Creative Designer specializing in Sound, Brand and Experiential Design.

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