quiet the mind with a demanding task

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Do Some Heavy (Mental) Lifting
A counterintuitive way to calm a frazzled, wandering mind is to take on a more demanding task. In a 2007 study published in the Association for Psychological Science journal, Professor Nilli Lavie of University College London measured the response time of 61 subjects performing tasks on a computer while being distracted by flashing letters. Turns out the more demanding the task, the less distracted the subjects were.

How to do it: When you feel yourself darting out in a thousand different directions, rather than play Whac-A-Mole with your email, immerse yourself in one of your most challenging projects, one that will require your full attention.

Try it when: Your energy is high (as in, not at bedtime), but you're feeling stressed because you have your hands in a bunch of different half-done tasks.