Jul 08
Stacey Ashley Blog

One Tip To Being More Focused and Avoiding Brain Clutter and Overwhelm

Have you ever felt like your brain is full? You have so much going on, it’s hard to keep up, to know if you are getting everything done? And you have that nagging feeling that you are forgetting something important?

Maybe you have had a great idea and think to yourself ‘I must remember that.’ And then you wonder what it was that you needed to remember.

Often these great ideas happen when you least expect them, when you are focused on something else, and your brain gets creative on you. For me, it’s when I’m out walking or doing something completely unrelated to work.

It can be stressful and frustrating to know you are forgetting something important. And this new thought, that you are forgetting something important, takes up your brain space, impacting your focus on what you’re doing right now. It can be an unhelpful cycle.

After many years as a productivity consultant, I realised there was one principle that made a significant difference to leaders being more focused, more present, and more impactful. Keeping their head space clear by proactively decluttering their brains and avoiding the overwhelm of trying to remember too many things at the same time.

Three Rules of Work:
Out of clutter find simplicity.
From discord find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

Albert Einstein

Remember our conscious brains can hold about 7 thoughts simultaneously, after that we go into overload…and we start to forget some of those important things.

So if you have a lot going on right now, this idea might help.

Write it down.

It’s that simple. Write your idea or thought down. Capture your ideas somewhere safe and declutter your brain.

Here are  few examples of how you can ‘write it down’:

➤ Write your ideas down in a single notebook
➤ Capture in your digital to-do list
➤ Use a voice memo to capture your thoughts- eg voxermemo mailer
➤ Send yourself an email

Once you have captured your idea allow yourself to let it go, knowing you have a solid process to remind you about your great idea.

Which means you do need to have a solid process to remind you.

That is part 2 of this strategy. Have an automated reminder process so you don’t have to remember to remember.

I often send myself an email with my ideas, or a voice memo I email to myself. Then when I process my emails each day, I action the idea I have captured in my emails. Some I will action immediately, others will go into my calendar to action at a later date.

I don’t need to remember the ideas as I have a regular process that will ensure I action them.

This means I can set and forget. Once I have captured my idea, my routine email activity takes care of the rest.

Consider your normal routines. How can you use them to do your remembering for you?

 

Strategy to Create Focus

1. Capture your ideas immediately.
2. Have an automated reminder process so you don’t have to remember to remember.

Implementing this simple strategy:

➤ Allows you to get back to what you were doing quickly
➤ Avoids taking up unnecessary space in your brain
➤ Allows your creativity to flow
➤ Allows you to capture an endless source of ideas
➤ Allows you to focus on the here and now, and be present, whether at work, with family, on holidays… knowing you still have your great ideas safely captured

What is one step you can take today to make capturing your ideas easy, and maintaining your focus possible?

I’d love to know your thoughts.

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