Constant distraction

When you have little to nothing to do, it is fascinating to observe yourself seeking constant distraction.

So, I had the last two days off. On Monday, I was tired and suffering from a sleep deficit. I didn’t feel like doing much of anything and only did the bare minimum.

Yesterday, I felt much better, having rested enough, and went about my day, running errands, going for a ride, doing laundry, and whatever else one does. I didn’t work. And I didn’t really write either.

But I noticed how every distraction seemed to be welcome. The TV was on and off, I read articles about random stuff, watched the news, scrolled through social media, watched a bunch of YouTube videos, and overall felt really quite restless.

I didn’t stick with anything for very long and was somewhat annoyed with myself. None of it ultimately mattered in any way. I didn’t learn anything very useful, though I didn’t feel like my day was wasted entirely as I did do some things that needed doing and I went on an enjoyable ride.

My mind feels restless still. I don’t seem to be able to concentrate and whilst I feel like I want to just read or something to focus my mind better, my thoughts keep straying.

At least, I switched my phone off. And I have to go to work today, even though I don’t really feel like it right now. It’ll be fine once I get there because it always is, but for now, I keep feeling restless and somewhat useless.

I decided to sit down and write about it just so I have something to focus me for a little while. The thing is also that my mind feels cluttered, and I know I need a break from this constant input I’m subjecting myself to. Watching a million videos on YouTube isn’t going to help. Just scrolling through all the recommended videos is too much, really.

What I need to do is close my eyes for a moment, let this clutter go from my mind, and perhaps read a chapter of the book I’m currently reading.

I mean, what do you do when you can concentrate, and your mind seeks distraction at every turn? Stop yourself and stare at a wall? Do you force yourself to do something specific or nothing at all?

Right now, quiet should help. Because everything else is making it worse. And I really don’t need this constant distraction. I need focus and clarity.

Mental decluttering

Do you ever feel as if everything is crowded in your head? As if your brain is about to overload? A million thoughts, ideas, bits of information and impressions have all gathered and cram inside your skull with nowhere really to go.

This happens to me when I’m consuming too much information and social media. Watching the news, reading articles, refreshing YouTube for the latest recommendations, endlessly scrolling through Insta.

I take it all in.

But then it doesn’t go anywhere. I’m not doing anything with it. It just fills up my mind and there is no outlet.

With the result that I feel my brain rattling around inside my skull.

It is unpleasant.

It’s not exactly a headache but bordering on one. The pain isn’t so much physical as it is mental.

That is usually when I realise that I have to declutter my mind. If, for instance, a decision must be made after doing a lot of research, I must come to that decision. At some point, I cannot watch yet another review on an item I consider purchasing, especially when all the reviewers essentially repeat the same findings.

I make the purchase and stop doing any further research as it won’t serve any purpose anymore. That’s one way to ease mental pressure.

Another way is to focus on one thing at a time. I often have some mindless show on TV whilst also browsing social media or playing a game on my phone. Many of us do. And we all know that this is not good for us.

So, I stop scrolling through Insta, Facebook, Tumblr or even the news. I either watch what’s on TV (or Netflix, really) and focus on that, or I switch it off entirely. I grab my tablet to read a book instead or grab an actual paperback if one is available.

Sometimes I listen to music and look out the window.

And now, I’ve chosen to write. TV off. Phone off. Lights off. Just my laptop and me.

It’s bedtime soon and I need to give my mind a little time to rest before going to sleep. Otherwise, I’ll have trouble sleeping.

And whilst I know that this consumption of all types of media is not good for me, I’m not consistent when trying to do this mental decluttering. I fall back into this habit over and over again.

Tomorrow, I will at some point have the TV on, my phone in hand and scroll through pages upon pages and pictures, and see everything and nothing. Until mental exhaustion hits again.

Though, I hope I’ll catch myself and develop better habits. I’m trying. Just not always succeeding. Thankfully, I’m not in the habit of beating myself up over my failings.

And neither should you.