Brain dump that is.
“Your head’s for having ideas, not for holding them.” –David Allen
With our new business adventure, I have to admit I have felt, at times, overwhelmed this past month.
We are almost 4 weeks down this new road and the troops and I are on this learning curve that is steep!
The fearless leader has had to be on her game every step of the way…but as most of you fearless leaders know, even a leader has moments of introspection and re-evaluation. Moments of doubt and fear that creep in during the wee hours of the night. That going in too many directions kind of feeling that surfaces up during car rides to cross country meets, or while making the rue for dinner or while folding the laundry…
The question is, how fast and effective can a leader deal with those moments? Do we let them swallow us, and fester inside our swirling heads? Or do we shake our hands in the air, get organized, and march forward with even more determination than before?
I wanted to share with you a podcast that I stumbled upon a couple of weeks ago. It came across my desk at exactly the right time. I believe it’s the reason that I can say I have felt more under control, more calm and at ease with where we are at this juncture as we meet the end of our first month.
I am very thankful that I took the time to listen. Which is why I am sharing it with all of you. If it helps just one of you cope with everything that you have going on in your crazy busy life than I will feel extremely happy.
Here it is, an interview that Tim Ferriss did with David Allen, one of the worlds most influential thinkers on productivity.
The interview is long and at times is a little challenging to listen to–in fact, a 2nd or 3rd listen is not a bad idea.
What stuck with me, and what I felt was the most important part of the entire podcast, was the concept of “dumping” the brain.
The fact is, is that our brain cannot nearly hold and manage as much stuff and tasks as we try to cram in there at one time.
Like trying to close a dresser drawer that has about 10 items too many, or the pushing and leaning against a closet door that just won’t click shut because it is just too full. Our brains are similar. The harder we try to fit it all in, the more frustrated we feel, the harder we have to work to keep it together, and the less happy we are about the whole dang thing.
So I listened…to the podcast.
And what I learned, was this great exercise to dump the brain…
Bring a stack of white paper to the table with either a pencil or a pen. Clear out a chunk of time with yourself and start. As a thought comes into your mind, write it down on one sheet of white paper. With the next thought, write it down on the next piece of paper…and so on and so forth. Each paper gets its own thought.
It doesn’t matter what you write; a work task, a feeling, a conversation that you want to have, a cobweb you need to remember to get, ordering your mouthwash on Amazon, see?
The activity is about getting it out of your mind and I am telling you once you start it is crazy how quickly it comes. All this stuff.
This might take an hour, 2 hours, 4 hours. However long it takes, you just need to do it.
No mistaking, this is different than a list, you won’t be confusing your list making with this dump. The feel is much different. The process is more cleansing.
And when you are done…you feel better. It’s out.
I encourage you to listen to the podcast. There are a lot of steps to take after you do the dump, and I might recommend that you get the book too, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. I have already got it and it is next in line to read so that I can take more action on my dump. But for now, the process of just getting it out made me feel a ton better and helped me put things in perspective.
So there you have it! I am always looking out for your well-being. 🙂 Here’s something that might strike a chord and resonate with you.
Have a great weekend! I happen to have tickets to a certain football game (Go Pats!) Can’t wait to see one of my favorite teams in action.