… do this to clear your mind and get a head start
Some days just zoom by.
If we’re lucky, some of them amazingly productive and others well, who know what happened, but you can feel the weight of what didn’t get done.
I’ve had them too.
And enough of them to see a correlation between the overwhelm we feel and the struggle to plan a successful day.
My definition of overwhelm is : when we can’t see how we’re going to get all the things we have to do done.
In these moments is the exact time we need a plan, but it’s also the most difficult time to make one.
Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place!
Sure it would be easier if we had a plan for these kind of days. One that would help us adapt quickly and get back on track easier. And we’ll get to that.
Fortunately there’s something you can do right now, when you’re feeling overwhelmed and struggling to plan.
And thankfully it’s not only easy to do but the fastest way to get unstuck and clear the haze.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed, do a brain dump and collect all the thoughts and todos floating around in your head and put them down on paper.
It’s a sure fire way to clear the mind and free you to take a deep refreshing breath.
To do a Brain Dump
Take out a fresh todo page in your planner or if your lying in bed, like I often am, create a new note in your Notes app, and write out everything that’s on your mind.
List out what’s next on a current project, write down meal ideas, things you want to do the weekend, events coming up, random thoughts and todos, books you want to read, new product ideas, places you want to go, client job notes, things you want to tell friends …
You get the picture.
Get it all out.
I’ll even write a few things in my journal, insights and moments I want to remember sprinkled with gratitude. So take a moment and write down something you’re thankful for. It can be anything, not just from today.
It feels sooo good to have a clear mind and a thankful heart.
Take a deep breath, with your eyes closed and allow it to fill your mind. It’s clear, fresh, white space.
There was no way your mind could do what it does best with all that stuff cluttering it up, and that’s coming up with creative solutions, plans and strategies. It’s was made to create.
Whether you think you’re creative or not (and you are by the way, we’re all creative, just in different ways), your mind loves having space to figure out challenges and find new solutions for you.
Another good thing about having a clear mind is that you have a better sleep without the noise of all that extra stuff rolling around in your head.
When I’m working on a big project or two I tend to store things in my head instead of writing them down. Fortunately it doesn’t take long to recognise when I’m making mental lists and I get out my planner to write it all down on paper.
You’re probably wondering what you’re going to do with this list, now that you’ve got all those things written down, especially if there’s quite a bit there. We’ll talk about a simple tool next time that will help you work through those items and keep you from storing things in your head.
For now you can use your list to do this one simple thing and give yourself a head start on tomorrow.
Get a head start
With a clear mind, your brain dump complete and before you go to sleep, take a few moments to look at your list and write down anything on it that needs to be part of your top three todos for tomorrow.
Your brain loves this because it’s always looking for ways to conserve energy, taking as little action as possible. And you get to procrastinate on purpose because you’re not working on them right now.
It’s a win, win!
Oh, and the bonus is that you know exactly what you need to focus on in the morning.
What a great way to get a good nights sleep. And it’s a simple + effective way to eliminate some overwhelm and set yourself up for success.
A note about tomorrow … if you get those three things done with time to spare, celebrate! It feels awesome to cross of your todos. Then you can check over your list and pick something else to work on.
And at the end of the day when you’re writing out tomorrow’s top three, make a note of something your thankful for from the day.
#tip : Once you’ve created a brain dump you can use this as a master list where you store all your thoughts, plans and todos. And if you remember something you need to do during the day, don’t stop what you’re already working on or get distracted by the thought, simply write it on your list.
It’ll be there for you later.
So let’s recap the three tips to help reduce the overwhelm in your day :
- Remember lists belong on paper, not in your head. It doesn’t make a good filing cabinet.
- Write down your top 3 todos the night before and enjoy some healthy procrastination.
- Whenever you feel overwhelmed do a brain dump and clear your head.
And one that will help you have more joy + happiness :
- Write down something that your thankful for each day