Old Fashion Mental Clutter

When was the last time you said to someone, “I am so busy right now” or “ I am flat out, theres not enough time in a day is there”? Everyone is ‘busy’ these days.

I don't like the word busy. Busy is not productive. What it actually means, in modern day Britain, is you have far too much ‘to do’ at the same time and are not focused on one particular job, project or task. 

One analogy I could use is being busy in the kitchen cooking four different meals at once. You are darting form one side of the kitchen to the other. Don't let that burn! The saucepan is boiling over! You have forgotten the salad! What time did you put the meat in the oven? 

Why have you put yourself in this position? None of the four meals you are busily preparing are likely to be the best dish you have ever made. Easy solution: Cook one meal for four or cook one meal at a time. Said like that it seems ridiculous but what you may not realise is that you do this everyday. 

The problem is the same as before. Don't forget to pick the kids up. The cat needs feeding. You need to call (insert friends name here) at some point. What time is your doctors appointment? Have you finished that morning report? Must visit Mum today. Need to put the washing on. I don't have time to go to the gym.  

In both examples you can easily identify that none of the tasks you are doing are going to be of your best effort because you are not focusing. 

Whether we are at work or at home we always seem to be busy. We stress everyday to get things done and, more often than not, struggle to sleep with everything swimming in our heads. Thankfully, I have a simple solution. 

I get by everyday by having a paper diary and a notebook. Notice a key word here: paper. I do not use the diary and notebook functions on my iPhone or my iMac because it’s actually more time consuming and easily forgotten about. 

As my day goes on I have my notebook to jot down anything I need to do or ideas for any of my projects. I carry my notebook everywhere so a good idea will never be forgotten about.  Before bed every night I check my diary and my notebook. Things that are to-do in the near future goes into the diary. Everything else stays in my notebook under the heading ‘someday.’ The someday list has the ‘not urgent’ items which I can come back to when I have freed up time. 

This may seem really old school but I found it works better for me. Not only does it feel more satisfying to cross off tasks one by one in a paper diary or notebook but it encourages me to be more organised simply because I cannot rely on my phone. 

Also, with everything out of my head and onto the page I find that I am sleeping easier at night too. The physical act of writing an idea or task down helps relieve your mind before bed. Have you ever caught yourself saying while in bed “I must remember to do that”? Of course you have. Write it down there and then and it takes another worry literally off your mind. 

Why not try it for a month? See how you benefit by going old fashioned. 


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