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Last Updated on July 16, 2018

How to Organize Your Thoughts: 3 Simple Steps to 10X Your Productivity

How to Organize Your Thoughts: 3 Simple Steps to 10X Your Productivity

Feel like your brain is overwhelmed with too many thoughts?  You’re not alone.

Our minds are basically organized like human computers. They function to a great extent in much the same way. So, if we want to improve our daily productivity, we need to empty the cache of temporary “files” and reboot for our brains to allow us perform at our peak levels.

Otherwise we can easily experience brain overload with too many circuits firing simultaneously and so many programs (thoughts) working in the shadows that we often “freeze up”. This will make us unable to remember everything or simply process the information in a less efficient manner than we’d like.

It sounds odd but when you stop to consider, it actually makes sense.

In this article, I’ll explain to you why organizing your thoughts is so important and introduce to you 3 simple steps to super boost your brain power.

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Organizing your mind: Why should you care?

By making it a habit to set aside a few minutes each day to empty and organize your brain, you can drastically improve your ability to focus, complete tasks and achieve your goals.

A streamlined mind is much more effective than a perpetually overloaded one.

In addition, an overloaded brain forgets things, important tasks, details and deadlines. The quality of our output suffers as well. We are simply unable to concentrate and use our intelligence and skills to their highest potential.

As a side benefit, you’ll find better balance, less stress and increased energy. Swirling thoughts cause an enormous amount of stress and prevent our minds from truly ever resting. This results in brain fatigue, which keeps us exhausted and irritable.

3 simple steps to organize your thoughts

Organizing your thoughts isn’t really that difficult. It really only requires a few minutes each day and surprisingly simple tools to help sharpen your brain.

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1. Choose your best time

Ideally, this process is best done twice each day, first thing in the morning and again before bedtime, but that doesn’t work for everyone.

Choose the time that works best for you. Any time will work. The key is to do it consistently.

I have found that I need my morning coffee, breakfast and exercise first. My brain has to wake up a bit. I apparently need a caffeine kick, fuel and stress release in order to form coherent thoughts.

2. Choose your method of logging

Any number of apps on your phone will work well to record thoughts and tasks. If you prefer, you can use the voice-recording feature. Even the basic note function works fine.

An organizational program or document, such as Outlook, OneNote, or Evernote on your computer will work as well.

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Though I tend to be a “techie” by nature, I still prefer to use a pen and pad for this process. Sometimes the simplest method is the most effective.

Whatever tool you choose, make sure it’s quick and readily accessible.

3. Quickly dump everything you’re keeping in your head

And I mean everything… Not just tasks but thoughts, concerns, questions, and ideas too.

Get it all out. Don’t worry about sorting them; you can do that later, just get them out of your head so that they can stop spinning around, using up precious brainpower and space.

Once you’re finished, ask yourself if you need or want to act on any of these items today.

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If the answer is yes:

  • Add those tasks to your ongoing task or to-do list (you have one of those right?)
  • Cross them off or remove them.

If the answer is no:

  • Is it an idea? – Add it to an idea file, work notebook, or document to pursue later.
  • Is it really more of a question or concerns you have? – Record it in a journal or notebook to mull over at another time. (If you never go back to consider them, they probably weren’t that important!)

It’s that simple. It should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes!

A tiny habit with great benefits

When we’re unable to let go of thoughts and responsibilities that plague us, we are no longer constantly preoccupied. We are better able to quiet our mind and enjoy the other parts of our lives.

When we aren’t stuck in our head, we can fully engage with the rest of the world outside us.

That’s not bad for a 5-10 minute investment.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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    Royale Scuderi

    A creative strategist, consultant and writer who specializes in cultivating human potential for happiness, health and fulfillment.

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    Last Updated on June 26, 2019

    8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

    8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

    We are all guilty of procrastinating at some point or other; no one is a stranger to it, right? Some of us might be lucky enough to identify it in time and still do something about it.

    Unfortunately for others, it steals dreams and can even destroy lives.

    The reason we procrastinate varies from person to person and is not always obvious. Sometimes it is a hidden fear that we don’t want to acknowledge, or it could even be as simple as not wanting to do something because it just doesn’t motivate us.

    Whatever the reason may be, if you know you are a procrastinator, be careful: it has far more damaging effects than you may realize.

    Here are the 8 most common effects of procrastination that can destroy not only your productivity, but your life:

    1. You will lose precious time.

    How much time have you wasted procrastinating? It isn’t easy to tell, but I am sure you can imagine.

    The worst thing about procrastinating is the moment you realize that you are two, five or ten years older and nothing has changed. Where did all the time go?

    This is a terrible feeling because you can’t turn back the hands of time, you just have to live with the helpless feeling of regret. There is nothing worse than feeling frustrated at yourself, knowing the situation could have been so different… if only you had taken that first step!

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    Don’t do that to yourself, you deserve what you desire.

    2. You will blow opportunities.

    How many opportunities have you wasted because you didn’t take advantage of them when they were there? This is when you really want to kick yourself.

    What you don’t realize is that the opportunity could have been life changing but you missed out on it. Most opportunities only come around once; you are never guaranteed a second chance.

    Opportunities are the world’s way of giving you more, do yourself a favor and grab them with both hands!

    3. You won’t be able to meet goals.

    Procrastination seems to come on with full force when we entertain the thought of goals, of wanting to achieve or change something. You might have a strong desire to change but you just can’t seem to take the first step forward.

    This is normally really confusing and perplexing; you might find yourself thinking, “Why is it so hard to go for something that I want so badly?” Only you can answer that; you’ll have to explore a little deeper into the resistance.

    We set goals because we have a deep desire to better our lives in some way. If you don’t do this because of procrastination, you destroy the possibility to better your life.

    Uncover the root cause behind your procrastination if it’s preventing you from achieving your goals, otherwise you will never attain them.

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    4. You could ruin your career.

    The way you work directly affects your results, how much you achieve and how well you perform.

    Perhaps procrastination prevents you from meeting deadlines or achieving your monthly targets. What consequence will this eventually have on your career?

    You might miss out on promotions or worse; you might even be at risk of losing your job. You can try to hide it for a while, but don’t doubt that long-term procrastination at work will almost certainly ruin your career.

    Don’t undermine your own performance unnecessarily.

    5. You will lower your self-esteem.

    This is one of the vicious circles you might find yourself in. We tend to procrastinate sometimes because of a low self-esteem, but procrastinating doesn’t only reinforce this, it makes it even lower.

    You start to doubt and question what is wrong with you. You might desperately ask yourself, “Why can’t I just do it?”

    Having low self-esteem destroys lives in many ways. When we have low self-esteem, we hold ourselves back, we feel less than we should and it leads to self-sabotaging acts.

    Procrastination eats away your confidence, slowly but surely.

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    If this resonates with you, focus on building your self-esteem instead of holding on to the illusion that you should be able to do something as this makes you force yourself when you are not ready.

    6. You will make poor decisions.

    When you procrastinate and make decisions from this standpoint, they are almost always going to be poor decisions because of the place you are coming from.

    When you procrastinate, you make decisions based on criteria that most likely wouldn’t be there if you didn’t procrastinate, like pressure to finally make a decision because time is running out.

    Emotions heavily influence the decisions we make and procrastination affects how we feel to a large degree.

    Poor decision making has huge negative effects on our happiness, results and life.

    7. You will damage your reputation.

    When you keep saying you will do something and you don’t, your reputation inevitably gets tarnished. Nobody wants empty promises.

    Besides damaging your own reputation, you are damaging your self-esteem and self-confidence. You will find that it gets easier to procrastinate each time because you are not surprising yourself anymore.

    People could stop depending on you and hold back on offering you opportunities because they could be worried that you will simply procrastinate and they will be left to clean up the mess.

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    A bad reputation has multiple underlying negative effects.

    8. You will risk your health.

    Procrastination is linked to mental health problems like stress and anxiety, and these in turn are linked to health issues. If your procrastination leads to feelings of depression, over time this depression will start to affect other areas of your life.

    If you procrastinate too much with something, it will most likely start to stress you out and cause anxiety, especially when other people or things are involved. Studies show us more and more how damaging stress and anxiety are for us, with stress being the silent killer.

    Another way that procrastination can affect your health is when you continually put off check ups, and postpone appointments or things you need to do, such as exercise. The problem only gets worse and the consequences more dire.

    Remember that procrastination is like a habit, it is really hard to kick, but it can make or break you!

    If you want to stop procrastination, take a look at these guides written by Lifehack’s productivity experts:

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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