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Do You Think Too Much? – Organising Your Thoughts and Ideas

Are you always thinking? Do you find it hard to switch off at the end of the day, and always find things to worry about?

My husband, a few years ago, bought me this book. Which was a sort of joke purchase, as I am definately a serial thinker in our family, but it is a good read!

I seem to always be starting up new conversations that seem totally unrelated to what we were talking about a moment before, and regularly have to reread paragraphs in books or relisten to a TV programme because my mind hasn’t switched off from the day.

I usually do at least 2 things at a time – and although this helps with managing my time and getting the most out of it, it leaves less and less space for relaxing with my thoughts and giving them some space too.

Very frustrating – but I am used to it now, and am beginning to take steps to try and minimise it so that I do get relaxing time as well (did I mention that massages are the best place to brainstorm your business – dear me – SWITCH OFF I SAID!!)

I am sure that a huge amount of you reading this will empathise with this.

 

Are you regularly:-

  • Waking up in the night because something has just come into your mind?
  • Finding it hard to get off to sleep because your mind is racing?
  • Always coming up with new ideas of things that need doing around the house, with the family, at work etc…?
  • Always looking for the next challenge?

If any (or all!) of these sound like you, read on…

How can I stop thinking too much?

Theres nothing wrong with thinking lots, but there is something wrong if you aren’t able to utilise those thoughts into something tangible that will progress you towards your goals in life, or if they are making your life more stressful than necessary (who wants lack of sleep!?)

Thoughts and ideas are really important in life as they define you as a person, and are often the way you motivate yourself or challenge yourself.

If you have ever heard a successful person talking, you will realise that they are usually no different to yourself – the only difference is possibly that they have acted on their thoughts and not let them slip away. They have used the momentum to get them somewhere in life, and have worked out ways to harness their enthusiasm and drive.

EVERYONE has ideas. EVERYONE has a business idea that they would do “If only…..”, and everyone has thoughts racing round their heads – but most people don’t act on them.

Ideas are a dime a dozen

So – whats the answer to organising my thoughts and ideas?

I suggest a two fold attack!

Start with writing down all your ideas – as a sort of line in the sand – a place to start and a way to release some of the headspace currently being taken up. Once they are all written down then at least you know that they aren’t going to go anywhere, and you can come back to them when you have more time. They have freed up space in your head!

Then ensure that you always have a notepad and pen with you wherever you go. This is such a small change, but makes the world of difference when used correctly.

Write down any ideas, thoughts, details, notes etc… down as and when you think of them during the day (or night! – keep it beside your bed as well and then you can write it down and go back to sleep rather than be wary of forgetting in the morning), and then transfer them to the proper place either daily or weekly dependant on how busy you are and what your schedule allows.

Where shoud I keep my ideas?

  • For general Ideas, life thoughts, and wishes – add these to your NICE TO DO list. This way you can look into it more when you have time, but it isn’t clogging up your brain in the meantime, and you won’t forget about it going forward.
  • For numbers and contacts – simply add to your address book and / or phone
  • For items that really do need actioning (i.e. something that has woken you in the night because you have forgotten it needs doing by the next week) – they should be added to your TO DO list – or scheduled into your diary in the appropriate time frame.
  • For items such as recipes, ideas for home decorating, family days out etc… add these to your Home File in the right sections – ready to pick up as and when you need to.

Which means that now all of your random thoughts are more organised immediately, and you can feel more free to concentrate on the here and now.

Every month get into the habit of looking over your NICE TO DOs – as some of these will start to become more urgent, and some will become redundant as time goes on. Its always good to do a declutter of these so you can see whats what, and are able to focus (just as you would your TO DO list).

And of course, as time goes on, there will be less and less coming into your head that is a panic thought, as you should be becoming more and more organised. What you will find is that your thoughts become more about what you want to do, what would be nice to achieve in life, and ideas for family/friends etc… which is altogether a nicer place to be don’t you think!

Example 1

You are thinking that it would be amazing to start your own business one day. You aren’t ready to make that drastic change as yet, and aren’t even sure that it is a goal you want to pursue, but it does keep coming into your thoughts so you need to write it down and acknowledge it.

I suggest keeping these notes in your NICE TO DO lists – under – IDEAS! – One day you may find that you do want owning your own business to be a goal, and therefore you can look at your NICE TO DO list, see what thoughts you have had already, and then start adding steps to get there on your TO DO list (i.e. take a course, look into finances etc…)

At least then you have a head start and can see what you have been thinking down on paper.

Example 2

Your friend or a family member has done something thats making you stressed. You have this on your mind a lot, and its causing you to lose sleep. Writing it down in your notepad will help to focus your mind on exactly what the issue is, and may give you clarity just doing that – it may also help you to realise a solution.

The next step would be to look at how you can resolve this issue as you have now identified it is taking up headspace – possibly talking to that person is required. Ask yourself what would be the worst that could happen, and if you are OK with that (its usually not as bad as your subconscious is making you think it is), then go for it.

Example 3

You constantly have chatter in your head about everything and anything. Theres things you don’t want to forget, decisions about the family holiday this year, items to add to the shopping list, someone you need to get back to about an appointment change.

All of these are weighing you down. When you do a braindump and add these things to the proper places as shown above, you will feel much more able to move on and actually get things done.

How to get in touch with your thoughts

I also try and focus my thoughts each night before bed, thinking about the day and whats gone well or not so well. Just being in touch more with how I am feeling does help to rationalise my thinking and paves the way for a better nights sleep.

Try using the acronym i have talked about before to see whether you have had a balanced day as well – as this can really help in terms of feeling more content.

In summary

The key is to identify what your thoughts are.

The action of writing them down can help you clarify them, and eventually action them – but whatever you end up doing with them, they won’t be taking up valuable head space any longer!

This will free you up to do more, and the more organised you get, the more organised your thoughts will become anyway!

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