Monday, April 11, 2011

Ten Minute Fix: Out of Your Mind

Sure, you're brain is an amazing thing. It produces an average of 70,000 thoughts a day. In one day, one human brain produces more electrical impulses than all the telephones in the world. That's pretty cool, but don't you think you should give your brain a break every once in a while?

I find myself filling my brain with things I need to do. "I should buy milk, fix that shelf, apply for a job, call my parents, clean out the car, pay the gas bill, plead guilty in that court case, fire my attorney, exercise more, and get season 3 of Seinfeld."

Every time an "I should" phrase pops into your head, it sticks around, even if you don't remember it. When enough of these "I should" statements pile up, you're stuck with STRESS.

So, get all these thoughts out of your mind and onto some paper. Take ten minutes and...

1.  Write down everything you need to do, should do, and will do.

2.  Now keep that paper close to you and well guarded because the next step is to...

3.  Forget it. Forget all of it! Your brain is now free to tie up all those loose ends, because the information is stored securely offline where it can access the information when it needs it.

This is especially helpful for those times when you can't sleep because your mind is racing about all the things you need to do. Sure, you have a test tomorrow, but you're too tired to study and sleep is all you really need right now. So, instead of tossing and turning or burning the midnight oil, just get up and write down your plan. You'll wake up an hour early, skip the shower, and go straight to the library for your last minute cram session. Now your brain knows that there's a plan in place and it can forget about it and worry about those other 69,999 thoughts it had that day.

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