As someone who has high distractibility level along with high impulsivity, daydreaming is a daily issue. It is hard to stop since everything is going within the mind. It is difficult to run away from it because some parts of our psyche like it.
So Instead of trying to stop it, dry to direct it.
Step 1: Evaluate how much time you are wasting every day because of daydreaming
You can measure it roughly speaking. What matters is to have a specific value to pay attention to. This way you won’t be able to lie to yourself and It can motivate you to see progress.
Common contexts of daydreaming
- When you lie on the bed doing nothing: 20 min gone
- when you spend 1H in the bathroom instead of 25 min.
- when you are sitting on the bus: another 40 min are gone
- when you had a good day and you can’t stop reflecting back about how good you people were impressed: 1H is gone
- when you had a bad day and you can’t stop reversing back with different scenarios to change the situation. 1H30 is gone.
Step 2: Set a Pre-decision:
A decision is a default action you plan to do before you need it.
This way you won’t be trapped thinking about alternatives. You will immediately pull out the default tips.
There are constraints to set pre-decision
- It should be directed to doing something valuable
- It should be actionable everywhere: visualization, listening, stop moving, repeating a mantra
- If I catch myself daydreaming, I immediately start visualizing myself writing an article on the table
- If I catch myself wasting time trying to multitask in a thousand directions, I look at the wall in front of me, narrow my attention in order to improve my focus.
Step 3: Anytime you enter a context, pull out the pre-decision and justify it with
Certain times you will feel resistance to jump into the default action because of some internal negotiation going on behind the scene of your psyche. addictive. counter it with
- What is the problem?
- ” doing XXXX [ Pré-decision ] is better than wasting Y [ number of time you spend daydreaming on a daily basis] doing nothing
It will suffice to ease the transitioning to the chosen decision.
- If I become aware I am daydreaming, I immediately start belly breathing
- If I catch my self thinking too much on the train/ bus, I immediately listen to this preselected music
- If I catch myself worrying too much about to l implement ideas, I repeat a mantra: ” no attachment” ” slow down” ” patience”
- you stop trying to get involved in every thought that seems interesting at the moment.
- you get out of mental loops quickly and easily.
- you save your time. You invest it wisely.
PS: I am not saying daydreaming itself is a bad thing. It is a powerful tool for imagination and solving problems virtually. However It can really do become excruciating when it consumes all the mental energy on things you can’t change or can’t control.