Those of us who are in business talk about running our business; but sometimes it can seem like our business runs us. There is always so much to do, and seemingly so little time in which to do it.
This often results in overwhelm and stress. This is especially true for those of us who are (hopefully recovering) do-it-yourself addicts.
There are 3 helpful strategies that I have learned from the various mentors and teachers I have had over the years; so in this post I’d like to share the first one. (I promise to share the other 2 in my next 2 posts, since I don’t want to dump all 3 ideas on you at once.)
This strategy is in response to the very stressful but common habit of constantly repeating over and over in our mind all the things that need to get done.
Our thinking brain goes into stress overload, trying to keep track of all of the details, large and small, of running our business, not to mention what’s going on in the rest of our lives. So our thoughts go round and round in circles like a gerbil in a cage, in constant motion but getting nowhere.
Yet our thinking brain (prefrontal cortex) is only 4% of our brain. Not only that, it is not designed to be a storage depot, but rather to act as the problem solving part of our brain. When we expect it to do a job for which it is not designed; it can no longer function optimally, sometimes leaving us to wonder if we are losing it.
So what do you do to relieve your poor thinking brain from undertaking a task for which it was not designed? The simple answer is to do a Brain Dump.
So what’s that?
It’s you sitting down with a pencil and paper and writing down every single thing that has been buzzing around your brain, juggling for position and saying, Do my job first! I’m more important! Do my job first!
In fact, I recommend keeping an on-going Brain Dump list; so that when any job pops into your mind, you can immediately make a record of it. Once your thinking brain knows that there is a written record of the task, so it won’t be forgotten; it can let it go, and then focus on deciding what truly needs to be done now.
Creating an on-going Brain Dump is just the first step in gaining control of your business and your life. Take some time this week to download your own list to give your overworked brain a rest. You may experience a feeling of relief that you no longer have to keep a running tally in your mind of your overwhelming to-do list.
For me, this has not turned out to be a One and Done strategy, but an on-going method of keeping track of all the things that come up as my life and business unfold. I make it a habit to do this as items pop into my head. This not only reduces my stress level, it also help me to keep all my ducks in a row and quacking in tune.
I hope that you find this strategy useful as well.
Also published on Medium.