: Taming the Fly-Around Mind
I imagine sometimes what it must be like to be an air traffic controller trying to keep all the flights in the air without crashing. They must have impeccable focus organizing who moves where on the screen and in what order. One slip could mean a life or death outcome.
Yesterday I had a day that seemed like an air traffic controller simulation with actions requiring impeccable timing to be completed. I had many little to-dos needing handling all in one short afternoon time span. Because they were so immediate to complete, they didn't even make it onto the Next Action screen.
While they were not life or death actions, I could feel the pressure building as my mind started commenting: "You need to do this and you need to do this and oh you better remember to do this one or that one can't happen."
I quickly called a halt to those inner comments (they were not helping) and I asked out loud: "Help! I need a better way to handle this now."
I so appreciate how cooperative my being is when I ask for support. Right away I was given what was needed.
I took my 4x6 pad of paper that lives on my desk, along with my favorite orange Recife pen, and began writing just those actions needing to be handled that afternoon...I wrote each one clearly on a separate piece of paper, tearing them off as I went. Then I ordered them in the sequence of how they needed to happen to make it all work. One action was about making sure someone was at the office for a repairman, others were timely phone calls that needed to happen that afternoon and one (believe it or not) said, EAT. It was 3:00 pm and I hadn't had lunch. That was a priority.
So once the actions were in order I started by picking up the piece of paper on top. It said EAT. I prepared a salad, ate it and then threw that piece of paper away. The next action underneath appeared (just like reading my email in the open position) and I did that one. I carried the stack with me to keep my focus on only the action on top.
I appreciated the clarity that came forward as I moved methodically through the next actions, one at a time, without the visual stimulation of everything else in the stack. I experienced the calm that comes with undivided attention. When the stack was finished I was back in charge. The distraction of the urgency was gone and my mind was available to focus on all the other actions on my screen.
I love being a mind traffic controller.
1. Create one fun way to complete actions that is new to you.
2. Close the mind chatter and take action.
3. Let your mind breathe by writing down what needs completing even if you think it is not necessary because you think you will remember it all.