Your eyes navigate across the screen. The cells slowly get filled in as you compile the monthly numbers.
Don’t forget to buy cabbage on Sunday.
You add a chart. You clear a column.
I wonder what Greece is like…
Your boss calls you. You chat about the usual; what so-and-so said in the meeting; what ball your coworker dropped this time; who needs to be sent the report once finished.
What’s the average height of a dog?
You hang up and get back to your report. You can’t remember where you were. Everything is so cloudy today!
I should reach out to Charlie. I haven’t spoken to him in a long time.
Normally these reports take you 20 minutes max. Today is a slog though. You’ve been working on this thing for an hour already and aren’t even halfway done yet. Your mind is busy with ideas and you just can’t concentrate.
The case for a clear mind
I learned long ago that if I ever want to get anything done, I need to have a clear mind. Well… at least as clear as one mind can get. I can’t have random thoughts and ideas bouncing around. They’ll just distract me.
They’ll cause me to lose focus.
And that’s not ideal.
So I do something so simple it would be silly for you not to replicate as well. All I do is… write the thoughts down. That’s it. Easy, right? When an idea pops into my head, I pull up a note on my phone and write it down.
That way, I know that I won’t forget it. A luxury that allows me to focus on whatever important task is directly in front of me.
Out of your head
As the day progresses, I’ll add more and more thoughts to the note. And then in the evening when I’m planning out my next day, I’ll go through and move each item to a relevant Google Doc where I’ll either take action on it, file it away as a reference, or create a plan for it.
Some days the note is lengthy. Other days it’s nearly blank.
The great thing about having such a note though is how it clears my mind. It takes the random thoughts out of my head and puts them onto a digital note that I know won’t get lost. Thus giving myself the confidence to return back to my work.
*Note: Achieve your goals with my goal success course here.
Who? The pinball wizard
You’ll often hear people describe the “busy” feeling as having a pinball machine in their head – and that’s a great way to imagine it.
Each ball bouncing around is an idea. The more you have bouncing around, the harder it is to focus on just one. But if you instead take those balls and store them on the side until you need them, you give yourself the ability to concentrate on the one ball remaining.
The one that requires your time and attention.
A simple productivity tactic
Writing down your thoughts is just like storing the balls on the side for later use. It allows you to hone in on the important task in front of you while saving everything else for when you have more time. I highly recommend doing this simple thing if you don’t already have something like it set up.
Next time your head is bouncing with ideas, pull up a new note on your phone and write everything down.
Clear it all out of your head until the only thing remaining is the work in front of you. And then later when planning out your next day, go through that note and move those items to more permanent homes.
This simple tactic will allow you to make progress like never before. So pull up a new note and start jotting.
*And when you’re ready, achieve your goals with my goal success course here.