I’m an over thinker. Seriously – I over think how I want to think about things. But – It can be managed because I’ve learned how to easily organize your thoughts with sticky notes.
It is so important to manage our thoughts – because as we should all know – what you think…you become.
I want to become a well organized person, with a well organized beautiful home, and a well organized successful business. Organizing things makes me comfortable because you can’t eliminate chaos from the whole world, but you can eliminate it in your thoughts. All you need is a pen, some sticky notes, some space, and a notebook.
First, gather your sticky notes and a pen and set a timer.
The amount of time you allow for this will vary depending on what it is you’re thinking about. Are you trying to make a tough decision? Are you trying to choose a direction? Are you pissed and just can’t stop thinking about it? Whatever it is – determine a reasonable amount of time you want to allow yourself to “randomly think”.
The simple act of setting the timer is actually huge because when you do this you have already begun to manage your thoughts. You have given yourself a limited amount of time to allow them to run free – to control you. Subconsciously you have given your thoughts greater focus because now they have only a set amount of time to get out.
I typically give myself an hour. If I run out of thoughts sooner then so be it – because it never happens. I’m really an over achieving over thinker. So, an hour is enough time for me to get enough stuff out of my head so that I can move on to what ever it is I want to do next. The timer limits the “over” part of over thinking.
Press go and start noting thoughts – only one thought on each sticky note – no more.
It doesn’t matter what the thought is. Every thought has purpose – even if the only purpose is to distract you from what you really need to focus on. Try to stay on track but don’t force it. Just jot down every thought on a single sticky note. I often find out that I’m hungry…..but that doesn’t matter here and now. Moving on…..
This act of getting the thoughts out of your head and onto a note is really significant as well because this allows your brain to “let go” of this one thought. You don’t need to carry it in your head any longer because it is safe and protected on the sticky note. You can let the note carry it now. Getting rid of brain clutter is a beautiful thing!
Once the timer goes off you have to stop.
Just stop writing. Just stop thinking. The writing part is done.
On to the sorting…..
The sorting part is the easiest. You simply choose a space and start sticking all the related thoughts together. Not on top of one another – but side by side. Grouped together but each should still be visible.
You might be able to do this on a couple pages in your notebook, you might need to use the whole table, or sometimes you may need a wall. Whatever, no judgement – if you need a wall use a wall. You don’t have an idle mind – own it – it’s a great thing! (I’ve used the wall a couple times)
As you are sorting through your notes you will find most of them pertain to two or maybe three main categories.
You probably also have a few completely random notes. Like those about tacos – because, yep, I’m hungry.
If you’re trying to make a tough decision you can likely see you’re leaning to one side or the other of the choice. If you’re trying to choose a direction you can likely see where your subconscious is leading you. In what category do your have the most notes? This is either what you definitely want – or definitely do not want. Depending on the situation. Or, you can see what primary direction you should be moving in. Whatever it is – it should be clear now. No more over thinking because it’s no longer necessary.
Now, choose a section of the notebook and place all the random thoughts that feel significant there.
Save them. This way you know you have them and can go back to them any time you want. No need to carry it in your head. The thoughts about tacos can be discarded because you just need to go get a taco already.
The focused thoughts – the ones you have in relevant categories – can now be placed on pages of the notebook and kept together.
You have them – all together in one place – to refer back to as you work through the process you’ve been thinking about. At this point, your thoughts, tables, and walls are all clear and ready to move on to something else.
This process is based on the organizing formula that works for absolutely anything. Clear the space, group like with like, and determine what to keep and what to discard.
I’ve used this process in many, many different aspect of my life. I used it to find the niche for my blog – you can read about that here. I used it to determine what businesses I’ve wanted to start. I’ve used to figure out what I wanted vs. what I needed when I built a house. I’ve taught kids to do this too. Who doesn’t love a process so simple kids can do it? It just works.
Try it…and tell me what you think. How did it go for you? Did you get what you wanted from it?
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