How to Defrag Your Mind

When disk space was not as plentiful as it is now, we had to periodically defragment our disk drives in order to get larger chunks of usable space, like pushing all the books to one end on a bookshelf to create contiguous space. Our minds are blasted with messages every waking hour and we find ourselves distracted by alerts, alarms, and notifications because we can’t trust ourselves to remember. Here are three ways to defrag your mind, in order to make room for the important stuff and increase your ability to focus.

  1. RECENTER. If you don’t have a meditation practice, just closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths is helpful, especially before an important meeting or working on something creative. This signals the body that it is time to pay attention to something new now.
  2. REAFFIRM MEANING. Why are you doing this? Does it move you toward some larger goal? What is your intention?
  3. REVIEW. After the task, or meeting, or creative session, are you complete (for now)? What is your next step?

The benefits of taking these few minutes are manifold.

  1. You’ve let go (at least temporarily) of things that inhibit your efficiency.
  2. Your work becomes more meaningful, and therefore so does your contribution.
  3. By thinking about your next step (no matter how small) you haven’t lost momentum. You can pick up where you left off.