8 Hacks to make you less Absent-Minded
I can be scarily absent-minded. In the past three days, I have lost my phone, left the stove on all night and lost a camera charger (lent to me by a friend who told me specifically not to lose it)…this list goes on and on. This is why it’s scary. When I lost my phone, it was on the night that The Director and I decided to make a dinner run to Tommy’s. I specifically remember sitting in the car and thinking that I should’ve brought my cell phone so that we could’ve mapped the location of the Tommy’s. Arriving home, I expected to find the phone on the bed where I left it but it was nowhere to be found. I looked for it all night and was baffled as to where it could be. The Director suggested looking in the car but I couldn’t possibly fathom it being there since I distinctly remember sitting in the car, wishing that I had brought the phone along. The next morning I look in the car and sure enough it’s in the car door pocket. I had brought the phone along with me with absolutely no recollection of doing so!
Now is it just that I am getting old? Early on-set alzheimer’s?
I dont want to be absent-minded. Its a huge hassle. It makes life so much more difficult
So I googled up “how to not be absent minded” and found an article by Anandi Nayaswami. She listed 8 tips to become less absentminded. All her suggestions were fantastic but I definitely had mental resistance to many of her suggestions which suggests to me that I am using absentminded as a coping mechanism for something. That’s a topic for a whole other article! Now here are the eight suggestions that she listed:
1. Get some vigorous exercise on a daily basis.
SOOOO at the moment I am not exercising at all at the moment and frankly I don’t know if I am willing to anytime soon. I know that sounds terrible in this day and age with such an emphasis on healthiness and athleticism but frankly I absolutely hate dripping with sweat during a workout. Pilates with the machine is an option, because I get to lay on my back and exercise with minimal sweating but really who has the time? And pilates is super expensive. Yes, yes I have many excuses for my lack of exercise. I am open to considering a brisk walk at night when it is significantly cooler. It would actually help out if I had a dog at this moment, I would be forced to go for a walk morning and night daily!
2. Avoid multi-tasking.
I am SO bad at this. I absolutely love to multi-task, it seems to make work so much more entertaining and productive. I’ve definitely read the studies that show that multi-tasking actually results in less total work accomplished. Last night I was watching tv and doing some mindless research at the same time, I felt very accomplished since it was technically my day off but I could see how I couldve definitely had more quality rest without half working while relaxing
3. Watch less television
Uh oh, the Director and I watch a TON of Netflix, so much that we have run out of things to watch! We are both homebodies and basically never go out unless its an event that is work related. I dont think that TV can be eliminated from my life at this time. Also most of my tv watching happens at night (exactly when Nayaswami advises against watching tv)
4. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night.
I generally get enough sleep at night but its usually interrupted. I am a productive day person and The Director is a productive night person. He wakes me up at all hours of the night whenever he gets into bed or is cooking downstairs in the middle of the night.
5. Try Yogananda’s Energization Exercises
Nayaswami descibes one of the exercises as “rapping the skull all over, to energize the brain.” Interesting… tapping my head to become less absent-minded? Definitely worth a try
5. Watch your worrying.
This used to be a huge problem of mine but I don’t really worry too much anymore! (except for those wee hours of the morning when I wake up in the middle of the night) I alleviated my worrying significantly by having a really strong morning routine: three pages of writing, meditation and prayer. Bonus points when I can do a meditation in the evening also! I highly recommend it
6. Practice memorizing things.
How boring! At this point I stopped to open up the Luminosity app on my phone. It was going to by my magic solution to my problem of forgetfulness! Luminosity promises that daily use of the app increases memory and attention — exactly what I am searching for help for! BTW 60 million people have downloaded the app which means many people are having the same issues not just me. I happily played through all the fitness tests on the app and when I finished I was presenting to a page where I could subscribe to daily mind building exercises for $10 a month. Not a bad price, but if I was going to shell out money I definitely wanted to know what I was paying for. I googled Luminosity and was disappointed to find countless articles debunking it’s claims. This article finally turned me off to the app: Luminosity Brain Games are Bullshit and dammnit if one of the first things the author of this article suggested wasn’t get some damn sweaty exercise in too!
So, if Luminosity wasn’t going to be able to fix my memory woes I can commit myself to playing piano one hour a week. Listening to classical music is said to raise your IQ and learning new classical masterpieces is a challenge and to memorize those pieces is even more brain exercise.
7. Try to keep your mind centered at the point between the eyebrows
Hmm this is the one suggestion that I don’t know if I agree with. All the teachings from my meditation and The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment seem to center around being present in your body. Putting the focus on the point between the eyebrows would seem to keep you stuck in your head, which would be a big nono.
8. Pay special attention when you tell someone you will do something.
This is doable!
So in conclusion, I am open to trying almost all of Nayaswami’s suggestions except watching less TV and vigorous exercise! I’ll let you know how it goes!
Have you suffered from absentmindedness? How did you overcome it?
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