I recently listened to a very funny motivational speaker at an insurance conference talk about mind tricks to keep you focused.
In his hilarious analogy, he suggested that people are getting dumber and dumber because we are overwhelming the brain with information and constant distraction. He suggested some of the below techniques to instantly clear the mind.
Do Small Unrelated Tasks
The funny insurance speaker suggested that when under stress, you can trick the stress response, by doing small unrelated tasks. Write a grocery list, tell a joke, walk around, etc.
Each of these little tasks quiets your lower brain by tricking it into shutting down alarmist messages and puts your frontal lobe back in control.
He further suggested slowing down the thinking process to make better, more creative decisions. Because fast thinking becomes the norm, when issue after issue, demands your attention. These fleeting attention spans lower quality of work. Slowing down our thoughts, trains the brain to focus and decreases tension.
Working on multiple problems at once can also overload the brain, cramming everything into short term memory where it can easily be lost. Tackle one problem at a time, to be more productive and focused.
Take laugh breaks. When we laugh we clear the brain of whatever stress weighs it down and pushes you into the present moment. Also, when you laugh, the endorphin rush gives you energy and the increased oxygen to the brain creates more focus.
Substitute Negative Thoughts for Positive Ones. Negative thoughts tend to overwhelm us and create more stress. If you can chose your thoughts, chose a positive one. The effects of positive thought create a much better current and future reality. Positive thoughts in the present moment decrease stress and make you more focused.