A Racing Mind, a Blessing or a Curse?

Do you have a racing mind that jumps from thought to thought and comes up with new ideas all the time? That sounds like a blessing because you have a constant stream of new ideas. What can be wrong with that?

On the other hand, a racing mind can be a serious liability, keeping you from focusing on a task until you complete it. How would you deal with such a problem, if you’re distracted by your racing thoughts?

I had a similar problem. On any given day, my mind would bombard me with dozens of ideas, nudging me to act upon them immediately. At a certain moment, I realized that my to-do list had thousands of tasks. It was impossible for me to complete all of those tasks.

Overestimating Ideas

When a new idea came up, I used to think that it was the Holy Grail. After a while, I realized that it wasn’t. However, I wasn’t ready to let go of all the ideas that my mind came up with. My solution was simple, write them down and move on.

Whenever I come up with a new idea, I write it down in my Evernote and move on. When I have time, I go over those ideas and pick the ones that are worth considering.

Throughout the time, I made a few conclusions about my ideas. They are usually repetitive. My mind comes up with similar ideas over and over. That’s why it’s important to expose our minds to new ideas. The best way to do that is to read books, but there’s some valuable online content as well.

The second conclusion I made about my ideas is that I will never have the time to implement all of them, even the majority of them. In a way, that discouraged my mind from coming up with new ideas all the time.

Do Your Ideas Serve Your Goals?

Moreover, I realized that the majority of my ideas were about irrelevant topics that didn’t serve my goals. That realization helped me to focus on my goals, on my tasks, and on what mattered to me. Nowadays, I don’t come up with new ideas about topics that don’t matter to me.

If you have racing thoughts, you’re probably feeding your mind with lots of stimulation, social media, TV, caffeine, and so on. Reducing social media and caffeine helped me with mental clarity.

Mental clarity is the absence of irrelevant racing thoughts in your mind. That way you can focus a greater portion of your mental capacity on what matters.

Summary

Having a racing mind that produces new thoughts and ideas all the time sounds like a blessing, but it has its disadvantages.

Our minds usually produce the same thoughts over and over. We also don’t have the time to implement all the ideas that our minds come up with. Majority of those ideas are on topics that don’t serve our goals anyway.

What’s the best way to deal with a racing mind? Just write down those ideas and carry on with your day. You can go over your notes over the weekend. You’ll realize that majority of your thoughts are repetitive and irrelevant to your goals.

When you let go of your racing thoughts, you’ll be left with mental clarity, which leaves you with greater mental capacity to focus on the tasks that serve your goals.

Burak Bilgin
Software developer with a Ph.D. and 15 years of experience. I write daily on personal development and life lessons. Sign up to my email newsletter to receive a weekly overview of my latest content on personal development and life lessons.

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