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Stuff on your mind

A big… huge.. really primary reason I started using a journal in the first place is that I do such a terrible job of holding stuff in my head. I’ve joked before that my head is like a small hard drive that gets full then when one more piece of info comes in, an older one falls out the other ear. Turns out, science says I was on to something. Then David Allen said it better:”Your mind is designed to come up with ideas, not to store them.” It seems we do a great job of one and a terrible job of the other.

So what happens when your mind gets too full? STRESS    I don’t know about you, but I don’t like stress. I like a challenge. I know I function better with a deadline, but that’s not the same as stress.  Challenge is within the normal state of homeostasis. (the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.) Homeostasis is the normal mind compensating and adapting. Stress is the mind in decompensation. (the failure of an organ (especially the liver or heart) to compensate for the functional overload resulting from disease.)  Stress is a symptom of dis-ease of the thinking process. 

So what to do about it?  Get the extra “stuff” out of my mind, of course. So what is STUFF?

Stuff is anything that is on your mind for any reason.

  • Stuff you need to remember because it has value
  • Stuff you need to keep
  • Stuff you need to act on
  • Stuff you want to remember to do someday

In the language of the Bullet Journal, these are Collections. In the language of GTD, these might be projects. Personally, I consider a project something that needs action and requires more than 2-5 minutes and/or more than 2-5 steps to complete.

  • Need to remember – dates, lists, instructions, motivating, cautionery
  • need to keep – lists, resources, reminders for repetitive tasks
  • Need to act on – actual projects
  • Need to do someday – bucket lists, hopes, dream vacations, long term appointments

I use that boring ole bullet journal basic format so I take that next page in my journal and start a project or collection page. I don’t go to the back of the book. I just give the page the room I anticipate it needs and GO. Honestly, I usually give a full page. If it’s really going to be big, I’ll give a spread (facing pages). Then the important part – MARK THE PAGE IN THE INDEX. Now you can find that page when you need to go to it for some reason and you can copy that page into some other book or computer app when your current journal is completed.

But how does that help me with the stuff in my head NOW? Get it OUT of your head!

I can truthfully say the best benefit I’ve gotten from journaling is learning to put ideas in a TRUSTED place as soon as possible. This is HUGE folks! If you are a post it person, write a note. If you keep a little jot book, write it. I carry my phone everywhere and writing while driving is frowned upon so I record a note on my phone. I pull out my phone, click the button, say “Google, record a reminder for today at XXX o’clock… remember to (fill in the blank)” The phone sends me that reminder when I need to write it more permanently in my journal. Done. Gone. Out. of. my. head.

Silence. It’s wonderful. Now I can honestly be more present for what I need to be doing at that specific moment in time.


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