Thought constructs are mental constructs that are created by our thoughts and influence our thinking. These constructs can distract us from our work, keep us trapped in negative thought spirals, and prevent us from being productive.
If we manage to separate ourselves from these thought constructs, we can better focus on our work and direct our energy and attention to the important tasks we need to accomplish.
In this blog, you’ll learn how to free yourself from your thought constructs and the impact that can have on a productivity and mood at work. Get excited!
Identifying thought constructs
Before you start implementing the tips, you should start by identifying your thought constructs. It’s not so easy to recognize when you’re caught up in thought constructs, as it’s often a natural part of the thinking process. However, if you find that you want to focus on a task but keep getting caught up in negative thoughts or worries, it may be a sign that you are trapped in a thought construct.
Other signs may include feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or frustrated when trying to complete a task.
How do thought constructs form?
Stress, anxiety, worry, or negative experiences are the main contributors to thought constructs. When we feel stressed or anxious, our brain can go into a downward spiral where we get caught up in negative thoughts and emotions. Other triggers can be the type of work we do or the environment in which we work.
For example, certain tasks or projects may make us feel like we are not capable of handling them, which can lead to negative thoughts and insecurity. It is important to be aware of what triggers can lead to thought constructs in order to take appropriate action to avoid or minimize them.
We present below ways you can use for yourself to free yourself from your unnecessary and useless thoughts!
Techniques to separate yourself from thought constructs
Mindfulness exercises help us focus on the present moment and consciously observe our thoughts and emotions. We can observe them without getting carried away by them. This gives us the opportunity to look objectively at our thoughts and emotions and thus we can recognize which thoughts are currently occupying us. It is easier for us to separate ourselves from these constructs and we can devote ourselves to the actual tasks again.
These exercises will help you be more mindful and recognize your thoughts early.
- Breath Observation: Focus on your breath and feel how it flows in and out of your body.
- Body Scan: Scan your body from head to toe, consciously feeling each area of your body.
- Mindful Walking: Focus on each step you take and feel your foot roll on the ground.
- Yoga: Practicing yoga exercises the body and mind equally and focuses on the connection between the body and the breath.
- Meditation Exercises: There are many different types of meditation, but at its core, it’s about quieting the mind and bringing focus to a specific point, such as the breath
Visualization is a technique where we imagine an image or situation that calms or inspires us. By visualizing a positive situation, we can get our brain to produce positive emotions and thoughts instead of being trapped in negative thought constructs. Visualization also helps us focus on our own goals and motivate us to work on them!
Not much time? Breathing exercises give you the focus boost
If you notice, for example, that you are not as productive at work as you would like to be, breathing exercises will help you to regain focus in a short time. Most of the time, unnecessary thoughts disappear and you can fully concentrate on the tasks again. There are different techniques you can use for this:
- Belly breathing: Sit comfortably and place one hand on your belly. Breathe in deeply and feel your belly expand outward. Slowly exhale and feel your belly pull back inward. Repeat this several times.
- 4-7-8 Breathing: Inhale for four seconds, hold for seven seconds and exhale for eight seconds. Repeat this several times.
- Nasal Breathing: Close your right nostril with your thumb and breathe in through your left nostril for four seconds. Hold the breath for seven seconds and then exhale through the right nostril for eight seconds. Repeat this several times and then alternate nostrils.
- Count breathing: Count to four on the inhale and six or eight on the exhale. Keep counting and try to gently slow the breath. Repeat this several times.
Physical activities, such as yoga, running, or dancing, also help separate us from thought constructs. Physical activities calm our minds. They help us relieve stress and put us in a positive emotional state.
You can do the following exercises during short breaks at work:
- Stretching exercises: Stand up and stretch your arms above your head, then slowly bend forward and touch your fingertips to the floor or your feet. Repeat this several times.
- Squats: Stand up and bend your knees as if you were going to sit down. Hold this position for a few seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat this several times.
- Jumping jacks: Stand up and alternately jump your legs out and back. Perform arm circles as you do this. Repeat several times.
Tips for improving concentration
Time management and time tracking
Time management and time tracking help improve concentration by helping focus on important tasks and minimizing distractions. Create a schedule and record the time you spend working. On the one hand, this ensures that the important tasks get done first. On the other hand, by recording the tasks as working time, you can record how long it took you to complete each task. This in turn gives you the possibility to create clear evaluations.
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Prioritization of tasks
Prioritizing tasks helps to focus on what is most important. By focusing on the tasks that have the greatest impact or are the most urgent, we can use our energy and time more effectively. Clear prioritization can also help reduce stress and overwhelm.
Multitasking can impair concentration and lead to mistakes. By focusing on one task, we direct our attention and energy to what is important. One method, for example, is the “Pomodoro Technique,” which involves focusing on one task for a set amount of time and then taking a break before moving on to the next task.
“Turn off everything—email, phone, stock tickers, news, etc.—as often as possible and focus on a single task without interruption.”Dianne McKeever, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer at Ides Capital
In this blog, we have discussed the importance of separating thought constructs for better concentration and productivity. We have discussed how thought constructs can affect concentration and the benefits of separating them. We also presented various techniques for separating thought constructs, as well as tips for improving concentration by establishing a work routine, time management, avoiding distractions, prioritizing tasks, and focusing on one task.
Implementing the techniques presented to separate thought constructs requires practice and patience. Continuous practice of mindfulness exercises, visualization, breathing exercises, and physical activities help to calm the mind and improve concentration. When implementing techniques, it’s important that you take your time! The goal is for you to achieve sustainable, long-term results. For this, a step-by-step approach and regularity of practice is key.