Food tastings at restaurants often involve eating something called a palate cleanser between courses.
A palate cleanser is a neutral flavoured drink or food that removes the residue of the last food you ate from your mouth.
This allows you to start fresh and taste the next food solely based on its flavours.
Quite an ingenious technique to ensure that the taste of a food doesn't get adulterated by your last meal.
If you think of it, our minds and thoughts work similarly.
Where the residue of our previous thoughts blends into the current, resulting in a hotchpotch of emotions and ideas.
This might be what you want if you're working on connecting the dots between several ideas.
But often, you need a disconnect.
A disconnect to help you leave aside all the judgements and brainwork you've done till now and start seeing things from a new perspective.
Creating an ideal playground for those "Eureka" moments where you mysteriously find solutions for problems you've been lingering on for quite some time.
In short, a palate cleanser for your mind.
A cleanser called music.
Music has the power to take your mind off of distracting or residual thoughts and prime it for new ideas.
And this is what I've been doing over the years.
Whenever I need a disconnect or need to think about a problem from a different angle, I clean my mind by taking a music break.
A quick 15 mins of listening to music helps me streamline my mind, make it calmer and be ready to tackle what's coming next.
There isn't a specific type of music like Jazz, LoFi or anything prescriptive that does the job here.
The key is fully immersing yourself in the listening activity and using music as a bridge to cross over to a clean state of mind.
Choose music that you enjoy listening to and doesn't feel forced.
For me, it's always country or pop music.
I've tried listening to Beethoven, LoFi and all sorts of other music, which are supposedly good for the mind, but they only backfired and made the listening process a chore.
You can also use this technique to establish mental barriers.
For example, a 30 mins music session after office hours will help you completely disconnect from work and get back to your life and family.
And this is precisely what I'll be doing right now.
As I finish writing this article before office hours, I'll spend the next 15 mins listening to my favourite songs before I transition to office work.
The next time you feel rushed, bombarded with thoughts and pings from your coworkers or other people, take a step back, reserve a few moments for yourself and enjoy some music.
It'll help you cleanse and prime your mind for focus again and spark creativity.