As I said in a recent youtube upload, I will be starting a series on what is often referred to as productivity. I like to call it effectiveness instead of productivity because being effective makes me feel like I don’t always have to produce a product to be successful. Anyway! Here is the first part of how I organize myself and attempt to be supereffective.
The Brain Dump AKA Capturing
I have actually done this since I was a kid, but I did not call it this. I have always been an idea person. I get ideas everywhere and at anytime. The difference now that I have more of a system they do not overwhelm me. At the most basic level a brain dump or capturing is how you get thoughts and ideas out of your head and onto paper or a computer system. The idea is that having these thoughts and ideas down will release some anxiety. I can tell you that for me it really does. These ideas are, for the most, part stored there temporarily until you are able to take action on them or they are archived on a someday list. I was inspired David Allen’s Getting Things Done System.
Like I said, I have ideas all times of day so often I just put these things in my notes in my phone notes. Things I capture are ideas I have, notes from podcasts I am listening to on the go, things I need to do and things I want to read. If a book gets suggested to me I almost immediately put it in my amazon wishlist or on pinterest. I may not read it, but if I am ever in a place that I am looking for a new read or more information on a specific subject it is there for me. I have a brain dump specific notebook where I will transfer these thoughts, ideas and tasks. I have my brain dump notebook separated into areas: Home, Personal, Business, and Social Media.
Once a month I will also do a brain dump in peace and make sure that my partner can hang out with my son for a good thirty minutes. I write everything that comes to mind in each area. From there I pick all the tasks out that are truly just one step. For example, contact someone, make dentist appointment. These task only items are actually very rare. I put all the tasks down on a list. One tip from David Allen is that if it takes less than two minutes…do it.
What you will find when doing this, at least I do is that most things are projects with lots of little tasks. Then I pick three to five projects from each area for the month. Each week I then evaluate if I have finished any projects and cross them out or if I decide it is no longer relevant. This rarely happens because I carefully choose what projects I work on. I only pick new projects to work on once a month. I have yet to finish all projects, but if I do I will just rest or spend more time reading…that will be the day! At the beginning of each month after I do a brain dump I will reevaluate the projects, continue with them, add some if there is room or replace them with projects that are time sensitive.
Start where you are. Brain dump in some form and get it all out then pick one project to finish a month. It will help you feel supereffective and make you want to tackle two the next month. I have found that getting it all out there and knowing that I cannot possibly do more than I choose for the month has really made me feel better. It has helped my unrealistic expectations and my perfectionism. It is really benefiting my anxeity.
Another way I brain dump is to do journaling every single day. I dump my emotions, my spiritual wanderings and what is going well and what I am grateful for. I will probably do a video or blog post on just that. These systems have not only made me supereffective, but also superhealthy. Next month, I will share more specifically how I break up my projects. Let me know what you think and if you have any questions.