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De-cluttering My Brain

I did a big oops this weekend.  I missed a very important, priceless family event and felt just sick about it. What happened?  I am not sure.  My brain was a week behind reality (or a week ahead?!:)), I thought the event was the following week. The crazy thing is, it was written right in my calendar on the right date!  I need to make sure I am looking at my calendar, even on weekends!  Obviously, there is too much clutter in my brain!!

I am thankful for gracious family, and I am thankful for a Monday morning to get my ducks back in a row and declutter my brain!  So far, I have cleaned out my email inbox and spent time on my calendar, making sure that I have all appointments and dates made (haircut clients, piano recital, 6 Christmas
celebrations, school program, school field trips, birthday celebration dates, Gifts Of Love, Bible studies, etc).  I have also organized my “stickies” which are just virtual post-it notes that you can “stick” to the main screen of your computer.  Much of the morning was spent hitting the delete button, which is so very freeing!  My brain is feeling lighter already!

I read a post at Simple Mom, and although I have yet to look into what the main post was about, (anyone heard of GTD?  I’m intrigued.) I keep thinking of this part of her post that hit a chord with me. Here is what she had to say:

Write it down.
Write everything down. Get it out of your brain and on to someplace else. Whatever “it” is that’s on your mind — your to-do list, the chocolate chip recipe you just concocted, your need to call your husband and ask him to pick up milk on the way home — everything. Leave nothing in your brain. Don’t make your brain the holding place for all those bits and pieces hovering around your day.
How often have you said to yourself, “I don’t need to jot down a reminder; I’ll remember this.” And then how often have you forgotten that very thing?
Yeah, me too.
Forgetfulness is one of the main reasons you need to write stuff down. Other reasons are:
  • You’re more stressed when your brain is thinking about a thousand little things.
  • You’re not able to fully concentrate on the task at hand.
  • You overcommit, because you can’t clearly see what’s on your plate.
  • You don’t have true, relaxing downtime because you hold on to that nagging feeling that you should always be doing something else – but you’re not sure what.

I like this idea, ALOT.  I do it to an extent (I love lists) but all throughout the day thoughts will pop up in my mind that I would really like to remember, but I do not write them down.  Blog post ideas, Scripture verses, things I want to teach  my girls, notes I need to write, people I need to get in touch with, and even convictions whispered to me that I would like to forget!
I’d like to take this idea a bit further and add “When you think about it, DO IT, and if you can’t at the moment, then WRITE IT DOWN”  For those of you who are BO (born organized) this might seem like a “duh” but it really helps me do life in a purposeful way, instead of just going with the flow and allowing the flow to take my fleeting thoughts with it!

It sounds easy to say “if you think about it, DO IT!’ but then there is that procrastinator in me that I have to fight.  Many times I DO have the time to do it, but I just plain do not feel like it!  In these moments, what has helped me is to put it into a time perspective.  For example, I hate emptying the dishwasher, but really, if I timed it, it would only take me 2-3 minutes.  No big deal, right?  Takes less time to do it than it takes complaining about it, and it prevents it from becoming a 10-15 minute job.  As Flylady would say, it is about putting out those little sparks before they become big fires. If I empty the dishwasher now, it will prevent a nice big mound of dirty dishes in my sink and 3 little birds chirping at me that they can’t find a clean fork!

Well, I need to get off this computer and continue my brain purge.  I know it will pay off as the busyness of this Christmas month starts.  It is so important to me to keep my thoughts on what truly matters this Christmas season, so I guess this is a good way to start!

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  • theygrowuptoofast
    September 12, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    GTD is Getting Things Done by David Allen. It is a great book on productivity. I fall on and off the wagon in using the system- but it really works. It is all about getting it out of your head and on to paper. Good luck!

  • Practically Spent
    August 21, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Love the picture! I feel like this a lot. I have a pretty, little pen that I attach to a rubber band and then put around my water bottle when I’m at the gym. I always seem to come up with things when I don’t have kids at my side and no one wants anything from me (kids at my side wanting things: almost 24/7). For the shower, which is my other “free time”, I keep a bath crayon in there to make notes so I don’t forget by the time I get out!

  • Amy@NewNostalgia
    December 1, 2009 at 5:16 am

    great suggestion, robyn! I saw some really great notebooks at Barnes and Noble. I may just have to go buy myself one!

  • robyn
    November 30, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    i tend to have a notebook with me everywhere i go, and i still forget to write things down! but just having the notebook makes me more likely to write it down, and then to get it done!

    if you get yourself {or find in your home, as i did!} a pretty notebook and pen, and keep them in your purse or in your pocket as you go about your day, i’m betting you’ll find you write more and more down!

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