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Mama_Cakes2's avatar

Any tips on how to clear the mind (so that you're able to focus on a written task)

Asked by Mama_Cakes2 (1446points) September 15th, 2010

I have a paper to write (it’s been awhile since my old University days) and with all of the stress and bullshit going on my life right now, I am having a hard time concentrating.

I am a bit depressed, so, motivation is a problem, as well. Although, I know that I have to do it, so, I’ll get it done.

I just want to punch it out and get ‘er done.

Help, jellies.

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18 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Try meditation.
Exercise can help alot too.Good luck! :)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Ten minutes of one of your favorite musical groups, loud as possible and let that have your total attention for the time. And then turn off the music, or down at least and blast out the paper.

Dog's avatar

Jogging always makes me focus and crystal-clear of mind.
The same is true of bicycling and hiking. All also help me keep depression from closing in.

muppetish's avatar

I find a long, hot shower helps me clear my mind. Instrumental music is a pleasant back drop. And I keep a window open that has a game (Pac-Man, Bejeweled, Solitaire, etc.) to switch to when I get stuck on a sentence. I find that mindless tasks help me brainstorm a little.

A brisk jog outside does wonders, too.

Cruiser's avatar

Good soft music always helps me focus. I put on Pandora here at work and switch between classical and jazz channels depending on my mood.

Nullo's avatar

I usually set myself up with some low-level (but ultimately unimportant) distraction. Techno music, for instance.

wundayatta's avatar

I may be strange this way, and it may not be an option for you, but I find that having a partner really helps me focus. Discussing it as I go along and having immediate feedback about the clarity of what I’m saying, and perhaps most of all—the company—really keep me moving.

Rarebear's avatar

Well, not to be snarky, but getting off of fluther and other distractions will help.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’d recommend a bit of that meditation @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard suggested and then a brisk walk around the block.

Mama_Cakes2's avatar

@Rarebear I went onto Fluther for a moment for a little advice. Kiss my tentacle. :)

Jeruba's avatar

It works the other way for me: having a paper to write does focus my mind and clear it of all distractions. I become completely absorbed in the work, and it is like meditation in that way. When I dive in and concentrate, I don’t hear or see or think about anything else.

Is your paper a research paper, a personal essay, or what? There’s a lot of preparation if it’s a research paper, but the research in itself grabs my interest and pulls me in. A personal essay can be harder to start, and that’s why I think it’s fine to begin anywhere—much easier with word processors, which let you build in any direction from any starting point instead of having to write linearly and then rearrange physically.

Rarebear's avatar

@Mama_Cakes <smack!> It looks like you’re still on, though!

Mama_Cakes2's avatar

@Rarebear I finished what I had to do for the day. I was part of a rough draft.

A hot bath and some Tylenol helped for the headache. :)

rexpresso's avatar

I close my eyes and focus on my breathing and my nose for a few minutes.

amylalala11's avatar

A clean workspace with lots of clear desk space is ideal. One deep breath, then dive in. If you just start writing without judging it—just let the words flow—next thing you know you are writing. Don’t stop. You can go back and edit later. The most important step is the first one.

LostInParadise's avatar

Divide and conquer. Break the task into smaller pieces. Start by writing an outline or by just writing the introduction. Step back or take a small break and then come back.

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