When I talk about the “constant churning” that happens in our minds, do you know what I mean? Do you ever feel that?
It’s when you can’t ever fully relax or be 100% present because your brain is cycling through all the things you have to do or reviewing all the “threats” that might cause problems for you and your family. You probably know the feeling, but you might not know that there’s a way out.
I want to start out with a story from Deb, who participated in our September session of Four Weeks to Finished. Our whole team was touched by her experience, and if you listen to the podcast, you can hear her voice and her own words, but I’ve summarized it below for those who may be reading this instead. 🙂
After her story, I’ll give a little more detail on how you can implement these solutions in your own life, as well!
Deb felt a constant churning in her mind and could never be fully at peace.
At the time of this recording, she’d completed Four Weeks to Finished and then spent an additional month implementing it. She said for those two months, she’d been able to relax, she didn’t have that constant churning in her mind, and she knew where to find things.
We asked what made the biggest difference, and she identified these two things:
(1) The Mind Sweep
This is where she was able to get all the things in her mind down on paper (and that alone can be helpful!), but then because she had the STEP Command Central in place, she knew where to find what she recorded when she needed them. Nothing needed to stay on her mind.
(2) Building Project Momentum
Because Deb learned how to work with project planning tools, next actions, etc., when a multi-step task needed to get done, she learned that she didn’t have to have all the answers at the beginning. She could get started and build momentum, and then she could go from there.
How has this ability to relax her mind been helpful?
Deb shared that she’d had general anxiety disorder for years–and there were days when she couldn’t even leave the house. Now she’s able to leave the house, she’s gone on two trips, she’s not having panic attacks, she’s creating simple packing lists that ease her stress, and she’s having the BEST TIME at events because she’s actually enjoying time with friends and not forgetting to do things. (You may want to listen to this part of the podcast because it is so thrilling to hear her share this experience!)
The anxiety we feel comes because we care. We’re compassionate and we want to “do things right,” and when we can give our minds a break and direct our energy toward what we are actually excited about, that creates an amazing transformation!
Okay, so what’s a mind sweep, and how do you keep from just losing all the things you swept out of your mind?
We go into depth on this in our Steps to Everyday Productivity program, but the quick answer is that a mind sweep pulls ALL the stuff out of your brain. What tasks need to be done–including errands, phone calls, computer work, household projects? What routines do you need to create? What big projects are on your mind? What books do you want to read? Where do you want to go on vacation? I may just be pulling this random statistic out of the air, but I believe I once read that the average person has between 300 and 500 hours of work in their heads at any given moment.
Once the mind sweep is complete, that’s where STEP comes in. You learn how to process it into the Command Central so everything has a landing space and you know that it will either come back to you through your daily/weekly/monthly systems or you’ll know exactly where to retrieve it, if needed. That gives your brain the ability to relax. 🙂
And how do you get started on a project if you don’t know ALL that it will entail or how the whole thing is going to turn out?
One thing we talk about often is how to identify that very next action–that simple 10-minute microburst that will at least get you going.
Multi-step tasks (also known as “projects”) are often easy to procrastinate because our minds lump all the little tasks into one giant mountain of a task, and it feels too hard. Even writing this post or recording podcasts can feel overwhelming to me if I look at the whole thing.
But it’s easy to say, “Let me sit down for 10 minutes and work on the written part.” Then I could do the rest later.
The beautiful thing about a 10-minute microburst is that, once you get started, it feels easier to keep going–or if you do need to stop, you simply identify the next microburst and get to it when you can.
It feels “safer” to know the end from the beginning, but when we learn how to take a step, see that we made progress and the world didn’t come to an end, and then take another step, we build momentum. And then we have confidence in ourselves that we can get things done.
I hope that these ideas are helpful for you today!
Four Weeks to Finished — Starting February 2nd (includes lifetime access to the STEP program!)
STEP – Build Your Command Central!
ARISE Membership! Would you like to wake up excited and go to bed content–with an engaged community of like-minded individuals?