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Silence the Blips and Beeps
One tuft of mental lint is actually not a thought—but a noise. Your refrigerator, for example, may beep when the door is open. You car may honk or talk. "Engineers know how our brains are wired," says Strayer. "A lot of these things—phones ringing, the buzz of texts coming in—they capture your attention." To avoid getting distracted by devices that are engineered specifically to take us away from what we're doing, we need to set everything to silence—including, every once in a while, please, ladies and gentleman, ourselves.