Managing an overcrowded mind

Juggling act

 

I have always admired the way that business owners, entrepreneurs and project managers have such an acrobatic ability to juggle several things at once whilst maintaining focused and in control of the important matters at hand. I admit to sharing the same ability, never shying away from an opportunity that presents itself, never stopping to think ‘am I doing too much?’

Maybe I am, maybe I’m not, but the way my mind works – I will never stop doing the things that I want to do. Recently, I have came to see that there are consequences for this type of thinking… overcrowded minds can be extremely challenging to manage, and lead to a lack of focus. Now I am not going to sit here give you ‘5 top tips’ on how to prevent an overcrowded mind, because it is almost inevitable for your typical go-getter; the fact is that that this stimulative activity is what keeps us going! You may delegate tasks to other people, you may try to separate your work and life balance (whatever that is anymore) but active minds will never stop thinking.

What I am going to make some suggestions of the things we can do to manage our minds more effectively. Everyone is different and we all have our limits on how much we can take in. The first step to managing your mind is knowing your own tipping point. Not listening to how much or how little someone else to do, but knowing your own potential and how far you can stretch. Having a better understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses will help you harness your thoughts in a more productive way.

Knowing the way that your function will help you manage your priorities better and unclog the mind. You may have 10 or 100 things in your head but you need to keep your priorities straight and focus on the key things that are most important to yourself and achieving your own goals. Easier said than done I know, particularly when you have ‘urgent’ tasks sidetracking you from the things that matter most. We must be realistic in our minds about how long it will take you to achieve certain tasks and goals, and plan them in our head with our own expectations. Set your own scaling system in your mind on levels of importance. I often have short breaks before switching between projects, so I have a fresh mind! This is a luxury I understand not everyone has the chance to get, particularly dealing with several things in a short space of time… but the formula remains the same, sort into levels of importance and take them one at a time, to capture your focus. We will never be able to empty our mind without acting and we must not get stuck too long in the ‘overthinking’ stage, what should I do next? as Nike would say Just Do It.

I often have short breaks before switching between projects, so I have a fresh mind! This is a luxury I understand not everyone has the chance to get, particularly dealing with several things in a short space of time… but the formula remains the same, sort into levels of importance and take them one at a time, to capture your focus. We will never be able to empty our mind without acting and we must not get stuck too long in the ‘overthinking’ stage, what should I do next? as Nike would say Just Do It. I shall leave you with a little mind declogging trick. Ever get to the end of the night or wake up with ideas, thoughts, thinking of the day ahead? One common technique to relieve your brain of its duties is called ‘Morning Pages’ which is essentially a ‘Brain Dump’. Get 3 pieces of paper, a pen and let it all out! Every time you can’t think of what to write, write ‘I don’t know what to write’ This is commonly used as good practice

I shall leave you with a little mind declogging trick. Ever get to the end of the night or wake up with ideas, thoughts, thinking of the day ahead? One common technique to relieve your brain of its duties is called ‘Morning Pages’ which is essentially a ‘Brain Dump’. Get 3 pieces of paper, a pen and let it all out! Every time you can’t think of what to write, write ‘I don’t know what to write’ This is commonly used as good practice

An overcrowded mind is a result of an active lifestyle and is not something you should be ashamed of. It is challenging to manage, and not for everyone. By understanding your priorities, knowing your own goals and limits – you can learn to harness the mind more effectively.

Two people I would like to thank for helping me out with this post. Edward Patrick Steele Sr, Professional Speaker and Kip Brooks, who helped me understand how an overcrowded mind is not a weakness but a state that only a few of us can manage, and Certified Business Coach who suggested the mind de-clogging method, courtesy of the book  “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron I would love to hear your thoughts, opinions and practices you have put into place to manage the overcrowded mind?

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