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Getting things off your mind – Part III

key on paper In Part II , it was mentioned that the first piece of the puzzle was to allow the mind to only focus on one thing at a time and thus making an “appointment” with the tasks at hand ! Just by doing this alone, the heart can calm down a whole lot … but the second piece of the puzzle is the crnerstone to ensure the first piece of puzzle is firmly in place…

Second Puzzle Piece – Breaking things down

The second piece of the puzzle comes from the ability to put all of the “stuff” in our mind out of our mind ! But many conventional “organizing” methods does this, but there is a crux in doing so which was almost never mentioned before, pay attention to what is going to be mentioned for it is the most important content of the second piece of the puzzle ,

“Decide the very next physical action required to move the situation forward…”– David Allen , “Getting Things Done”

Taking an example from part I ,

Need to exercise 30 mins 3 times a week” – is this a physical action? – NO , it is only a statement , a description – call it what you may , but it is not an action.

And when something isn’t an “action” , we tend to get lost ! Unless we decide upon the next physical action, chances are all the “stuff” gets thrown back into your mind =) But once the next physical action has been decided, our mind tend to naturally detach itself from it , because it has been given an assurance , our mind is like a child, to make a child secure , you either have to give the sweet to him right away or be very detail about when he’s getting that sweet , just saying “you’ll get your sweet in due time” is not good enough.

This was the key difference ! This is exactly what was missing, the method to allow the mind to detach from a task naturally!

So let’s look at the “Need to exercise 30 mins 3 times a week” again , let’s turn this into a “physical action” ,

1) Go for basketball games on mondays and wednesdays for 45 minutes after school(approximately 6pm to 6.45pm)

2) Set a reminder in a way (personalised it yourself!) that you will remember to do the above

Once that is done , something amazing happens, your mind KNOWS that this matter has been taken care of and KNOWS that it’ll be reminded in a way that you cannot forget, and what happens? It detaches itself from the activity of “planning it” .

A typical example we might better relate to is how do we make sure we remember to bring something to school/work the next day? let’s say to bring an important piece of document to your boss the next day, what would you do? If you are like most people, all that needs to be done is to place that document beside something you would NEVER FORGET to bring out of your house – like the keys, in our briefcase or on our shoes (if it doesn’t stink lol)

After placing the document on your shoe (example) , what happens? Yes, you know what happens, your mind automatically detaches itself from worrying/thinking/planning about that very important document !

TADA! , the 2nd piece of the puzzle has been found :)

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