6 Tips for Not Letting Your Wandering Mind Derail Your Workout

6 Tips for Not Letting Your Wandering Mind Derail Your Workout

I have struggled with a wandering mind for pretty much all of my life.  It is damn near impossible for me to focus on one idea at a time unless I completely shut out everything else going on in my life.  Very often my head feels as if it will explode from the many thoughts flying like sharp objects and slamming themselves from one side of my mind to the other.  I see the thoughts very clearly; each one of them carrying the utmost importance.  Each thought fights to prove its urgency over the others.  Where do I start?  I want to address each thought and I want to do it NOW!  I am the queen of multitasking yet never actually finishing anything.  

In reality I understand that every single thought is not of equal importance and is not a life or death situation.  Try telling that to those pesky little guys battling it out in my head though!  My wandering mind is the number 1 destroyer of my workouts.  Instead of focusing on my workout I often get lost in the ongoing battle in my mind.  I've had to learn how to control the wandering thoughts in order to manage not just my workouts but also my life.  So, here's some tricks I have learned that help me tremendously.  I hope they will help you too!

  1. Write down every single thought in your mind.  It doesn't matter if you use a notepad or your phone or your computer or any other means of "writing" it down....just get it out of your head and into something else.  This is now your "thought journal".  Again, Get it OUT of your head.  Put dates beside each thought.  This date represents when you will address this thought again.  Until that date comes - FORGET IT.  There's nothing more you can do with that thought until it's due date comes.
  2. Take your thought journal with you everywhere you go.  When you have a thought don't embrace it and let it manifest itself into a pressing issue that must be dealt with that minute.  NO!  Write it down.  Put a date beside it and move on.  This is especially important during your workouts.  Don't leave your workout to go do something "real quick".  That's a sure fire way to kill your workout.  It doesn't matter how simple and quick it seems to just DO IT and get it over with.  Don't fall victim to this trap.  You will end up distracted and never going back to your workout.  
  3. Turn the music up really really really loud!  Drown out any chance of being able to "think" by getting lost in your loud music.
  4. Turn the phone OFF!  Turn the "chime" off on your computer so you don't hear new emails or Facebook messages as they are received.
  5. Leave your home or office.  Go to the gym.  Go to a friends house.  Go outside.  Go somewhere, anywhere, except your home or office.  Your home and office are full of "to-do's".  You can't possibly concentrate on your workout while looking at a pile of dirty laundry or a stack of unfinished paperwork.
  6. Every Sunday plan your entire week.  Especially plan your workouts.  Plan where you will do them, what time you will do them, and exactly what you will do.  Block the time on your calendar.  This is sacred time and NOTHING can interrupt it.  I have found that building in some down time for unexpected tasks that pop up during the week is essential.  You cannot possibly plan everything but if you have some down time blocked then you will be able to adjust when something unexpected pops up.  

So, there you go.  Those are my tricks for keeping my workouts and life on track and not letting my thoughts derail me.  I hope that someone out there can relate to this and finds this helpful.  

Please comment and let me know your tricks for staying on task!