Reflection time: Losing one’s train

Posted on: 13/06/2011

Generally speaking, when I am focused on something, I’m fairly switched on.  I am not quite the dunderhead I sometimes appear to be.

Then I’ll get the tiniest distraction.  And that’s it.  Focus – gone.  Memory – gone.  No idea what I was doing or talking about.

This is a bit of a problem when I teach.  Because I’m fairly new to teaching, I can struggle to sleep well before a class.  I tend to run on adrenaline during early classes, and keep my wits about me by instinct (or is that terror?) alone.  But when the group start to look as if they are enjoying themselves, and I relax a little bit, that’s when it happens. I lose the thread of a conversation.


According to an Ezine article I read about this, if it happens a lot it could be down to your physical health.  If you have hypertension, diabetes, or even a vitamin B12 deficiency, among other things, it has been proven to have an effect.

Which is all very well, but I believe in my case, it’s usually my own thoughts that distract me.  One of the million other things I shouldn’t be thinking about will invade my consciousness.  It could be relevant to later in the class, or it could be some silly recollection from something I did at home.  Anything, really.

How, then, do I prevent it from happening?  Well, the same article mentions online brain training games.  I actually quite like these, but the ones that will help, I hate, because I have a terrible memory and I feel bad that I can’t do very well in them.  It also says that learning a new language is a great way to keep the brain muscles in shape.

There are things we can’t do much about, such as the fact that our senses are overstimulated by our modern lives. Phones, TV, emails and endless advertising are apparently all big contributors to being so easily distracted.   Life coach Holly Worton recommends switching off such distractions – especially the internet – to get tasks done, and she’s right (though the temptation to keep things humming along in the background is still too strong for me to resist so far). Not an issue in classes, but good for day-to-day life.

Spookily enough, the e-zine article also talks about exercise.  Yes.  Again, the magic solution is exercise – apparently every mile that a woman walks per week reduces her risk of memory loss by up to thirteen percent.

Funny how everything is about exercise at the moment.  Just as well, perhaps, that I’m finally doing some.

I’d better make sure I keep it up between now and the next course, or I’ll, um…what was I saying again?


2 Responses to "Reflection time: Losing one’s train"

Do you find that you tend to keep a lot of information in your head that you actually could benefit from writing down? Check out my article on “task meditation” to try to get things out of your head and into your calendar…thus leaving mind bandwidth for the important stuff! Good luck!

Great idea! I’ll try that (well, when I next get a quiet moment, anyway..)

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