4. Mindfulness training
Since mind wandering is a subconscious and automatic behaviour, we often don’t even notice it, but you can change that. During mindfulness training you practice to focus on the present moment. This is a helpful skill, especially in our multitasking oriented and digital society. There are tons of inspiration and information online about mindfulness training.
The easiest exercise that you can do anywhere is consciously shifting your focus onto your breath. Pay attention to your inhalations and exhalations and see how they affect your body. As soon as you notice that your mind has wandered, bring your attention back to your breath. Soon you’ll realise that the interruptions are fewer.
5. Mental coping mechanisms
Distracting thoughts pop up suddenly and immediately pull you away from your task. Therefore, you need a quick and powerful defence. Create your own mental coping mechanisms. Look for a motivating and positive affirmation that you can use against mind wandering. This affirmation will bring you back to your task.
If your brain is tired and exhausted, it’s harder to focus on your task. Therefore, study breaks are extremely important to allow your brain a moment of rest, so that it can continue to work with focus.
7. Reduce distractions
Even without distractions your mind can start wandering around. However, every distraction increases the likelihood that your brain finds more interesting and new information. Therefore, you should get rid of potential distractions (e.g. smartphone, toys…) and turn off disruptive features (e.g. push notifications).