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Mental drift/fog/fade

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I wonder if anyone else shares a similar experience to mine that occurs very frequently and leaves me with frustration.

Sometimes I am merely walking around on my lunch break and all of a sudden a thought enters my awareness but pretty quickly fades away, leaving me unable to grasp the thought and seek clarity, suddenly something else pops into my awareness and the cycle repeats.

I try hard to focus and concentrate on these thoughts, to take them to their conclusion, but they progressively diminish and I am left with no benefit of this process.

When I sit down in a quiet room without any distractions and set myself a goal to understand a book I am reading or merely to introspect, I can follow my thoughts easier and focus.

It seems that most of the time I am not fully focused on what I am thinking or feeling because I get easily distracted by what is in my perceptual awareness, noises, and because I feel tired quite often.

If you have experienced this and overcome it, what was it that you did?

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I think everyone experiences this, it's called being preoccupied. The plain fact is that unless you spend all your time sitting alone doing nothing, you have things that require your attention, and you only have a limited amount of attention. If thoughts occur to you when you're busy doing something else, then jot them down so you can think about them again when you aren't so busy.

I think you can observe this if you turn on the TV in a room full of people: everyone's attention gradually gets absorbed with the TV. I'm particularly bad about this, myself, because I find that something going on in my peripheral vision makes me want to look at it, especially if there is sound involved. My solution is to not turn the TV on in the first place: I don't even own one now. Occasionally when I go through the common room someone else is watching TV and I will be distracted temporarily.

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