Organize your attitude #52
One thing that’s bound to make us snippy and snappy is when our heads are full of details and demands. When we try to keep track of information and appointments and obligations and everything else going on in our life all in our heads, there’s not room for listening to the people in front of us and being present with them. So we snap, because our heads are stuffed.
Our minds are for thinking, responding, attending. They are not for reminding, holding, remembering.
When our minds are overfull and we can’t calmly pay attention anymore, it’s time for a brain dump.
Keeping a brain dump notebook at hand as a habit can do much to quell the rising panic feeling that comes when all the details of all the things start beating down.
It’s an attitude management strategy that is cheap, fast, and it works.
Start a list of everything that is on your mind, everything that is not as it should be. Yes, everything. You want the paper to hold your anxieties, pressure points, reminders, tasks – as much as paper can hold – so that your mind lets go of them. If your mind can stop holding information, it will be free to do what it does better: pay attention and think. That’s what you want to use your mind for. Use paper to hold data, reminders, and concerns. You can only feel good about what you’re not doing when you know what you’re not doing and actively choose to delete or ignore it. So begin by gathering everything that nags you by jotting it down.
Later, you can filter that information and put it in the appropriate place in your planning set up, but the important first step is to just get it out of your head so the sanity can return.
Even if you’ve done a big, thorough brain dump before, that doesn’t mean you’re done with it. A brain dump is a strategy to return to again and again, whenever you start a big new project or whenever you start to feel like life is a bit too much.
Keep a notebook or scrap paper close at hand, and write down all the details, information, and ideas that come your way. You’ll feel less like you’re drowning if you keep it all written down on paper than if you try to keep it in your head, even if you don’t turn it into a perfectly organized system.
When you take some time over the course of a week or so and just start jotting down everything that’s on your mind, you’ll start clearing mental space so you can think about what’s on your mind instead of merely having the bits of information and pressure be tossed around in a jumble.
Depressurize your state of mind with a brain dump.