I daydream a lot and cannot focus on my studies or complete my tasks. Why?

Q. What causes a person to lose focus and daydream?

Answered by
Paratwar Nayana Kapil
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 10, 2022

Hello doctor,

I get distracted easily, and I cannot concentrate even for two minutes in class. I do not know how but I started daydreaming it is becoming worse daily. My brain is covered with fog. Sometimes it feels like brain fog; I keep imagining things and having my fantasies which feel heartbreaking; I usually like this feeling and hear sad songs while in my fantasies. Maybe I have maladaptive daydreaming, which is now affecting my studying life. I write down my task but cannot complete a single task. I notice many downfalls in myself as if I m a slow learner. Most importantly, I am a master procrastinator; I cannot concentrate or focus on my studies while watching videos or something I feel that I am interested in. I can listen to that and can concentrate. I am preparing for competitive exams in my drop year but am completely lost in my daydreaming. I have started feeling dumb. Kindly suggest.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Daydreaming is a coping mechanism used by the mind to avoid stress, and anxiety due to the pressure of a task, like in your case, your study for a competitive exam or simple case under-stimulation for the brain. The content of daydreaming is a way to rehearse for good and bad. You have no issues with concentration, but your focus is in the wrong place. The feelings are due to a vicious cycle of constantly wanting to perform a task and failing to do so. It imposes your belief that something is wrong. There can be maladaptive beliefs working behind procrastination example, fear of failure, fear of catastrophe, avoiding unpleasant situations at home or school, etc. Mind rebels when we try to put it down by blaming. Your mind is your friend. Allow it to express but mindfully come back to here and now. Find the grounding techniques which work for you, and help you to stay in the present moment. Do not scold yourself when you catch yourself daydreaming. Instead, allow yourself to be aware and come back to the present. The good news is it can be corrected. For a couple of days, allow yourself to relax, pause from everything and be happy. Try not to have tasks for two-three days. Unwind, take a pause, and allow yourself to relax. Be aware and reflect on what the reasons are for daydreaming. Do not label yourself as a master procrastinator or dumb. Labeling is a form of self-criticism and will end up in low self-confidence. Self-compassion is the key. You can start self-love things like taking care of the body - moisturizing, massaging, having a warm bath before sleep, and eating properly. Having a separate study space from the bedroom can help. Dedicate relaxation time to watching television, cinema, mobile, and going out with friends. After that, break down the task from high priority to low in small chunks. The Pomodoro technique combined with self-reward might help.

Thank you.

Treatment plan:

Pomodoro technique for studies, self-compassion affirmations, nonjudgmental space for self to relax and grow.

Pranayama or physical exercise, nutrition, and sleep hygiene.

Regarding follow up:

Verbalisation in a safe and non-judgmental space.

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