This is another concept I learned from Eben Pagan.
Have you ever been working on an assignment when suddenly a thought popped up, which led to another, and another, and another until 20 minutes have passed and nothing had been accomplished?
You might ask yourself, “WTF happened?”
In science, there is something called chaos theory. It is the idea that very small events can eventually cause very large events.
The classic example is the “butterfly effect.” The theory is that a butterfly flapping its wings in, say, Mexico can alter the atmosphere just enough to eventually cause a Tornado in, say, Nebraska.
Well, we all have both internal and external butterflies of our own. Once you are aware of them, you can “catch” these thoughts before they cause you problems.
Usually, internal butterflies stem take the form of certain thoughts. For example, perhaps the thought of a cute girl in your Spanish class leads to you trying to figure out how you can talk to her, then imagining the two of you at a party together playing beer pong, then thinking about your previous girlfriend who you did special things with, etc.
Needless to say, you aint focused on the task at hand.
Next time you work on something, observe what thoughts trigger a chain of events that leads to distraction from what you are doing. In the future, cut the thought loop off at the beginning when it is still a butterfly before it turns into a tornado.