Smart, clever, creative inventive people do not gather their thoughts; they are under siege by them.
I don’t know about you but I often have a hard time gathering my thoughts, too easily distracted from any “boring” task. In fact, I often feel like Harry Potter trying to get through the flying keys to the Chamber of Secrets. This is my normal life – many thoughts, all the time, not all of them good, all demanding my immediate attention until the next thought elbows its way to the fore. Sometimes this make me disruptive (rude, really – I apologize) in conversation – if I do not spit it out, it will likely be lost, possibly forever.
Mercury Retrograde (MRx) does nothing to help me, and generally seems to delight in making things worse. Sigh….
During the current retrograde, I have been thinking quite a bit about myself – introspection, etc. – and ways I can improve my performance in life (home, work, writing, relationships, etc), and I have arrived at a conclusion: the problem is not too many thoughts (as I previously believed) but too many disorganized thoughts. With that, I have been working on organizing my thoughts, and I think I have arrived at a strategy I can use long-term. As you deal with your own bombardment today, I suggest the following:
- Write it down: Not all ideas are keepers but when you have a good idea, do not let it slip away or get lost in the crowd. Write it down and reserve the right to dismiss later.
- Time for review: Set aside time each day (or week, or month, or whatever reasonably works for you) to calmly review the list of ideas you have created. Sort the ideas into MUST and MAYBE; prioritize MUST, set aside MAYBE for further review at another time. ((NOTE: If you discover no items worth pursuing further, no problem – scrap the list, tomorrow is another day.))
- Concentrate on the actions: Choose the MUST item most pressing (maybe it is time sensitive or meets an immediate need), and seriously consider the actions required. This may be the most challenging step as it requires concentration but we know we are capable of concentration (when the subject appeals!) – decide to concentrate on this step.
- Create a plan: Plan the actions, including a timetable for completion. ((NOTE: Be realistic in your timetable. Creating pressure is unlikely to assist. Do not buy into the false idea “I do my best work under pressure” because it simply is not true.))
- Work the plan: Begin to implement the plan.
- Allow for flexibility: Perhaps a step in the plan is not working – that’s okay as we learn by doing – feel free to update, revise, replace the step with something better. ((NOTE: One or two failed steps does NOT mean the plan failed or should be scrapped.))
- Get to it: Because any battle plan is good before the shooting starts, GET MOVING! Do not allow yourself to become stuck in any of the organizational steps or lost in the minutiae of planning. Allow your thoughts and plans to move within the organizational framework.
And don’t ever forget the most important SQUIRREL!!!!!
((All images courtesy Google Images and Facebook.))