Clearing the mental desktop - Deepstash

Clearing the mental desktop

There is a way to re-organize your unresolved thoughts and separate the important from the messy mental pile. In the quiet of the day, you sit down with a pencil and paper and ask yourself three questions.

  • What am I anxious about?
  • What am I upset about, and with whom?
  • What am I currently feeling excited or ambitious about?

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MORE IDEAS FROM How to Get Out of a Rut in About 20 Minutes

When you ask what you're anxious about, you may not have a clear answer. You may have fragments of responses that may not make much sense by itself. For example, "I am anxious about floorboards. Book mess."

Record these answers as they will give a hint about the main sore points in the back of your mind.

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Once you've collected your fragments of responses, pass it through a second tier of questions that is more pointed to find out what lies behind the initial associations and impressions. If you're upset with someone, ask, "What part of myself feels danger here?"

This process will turn the cloud of stuff back into concerns you can name and understand. It dissolves any sense of being held back by thoughts.

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When good habits break down

It is easy to accumulate stuff, like unfiled papers and half-read books or unfinished projects. If left unattended, they can pile up and can spiral out of control. At some point, you can get fed up and tidy up, and then the cycle starts anew.

Unsorted papers and books are as problematic as unsorted thoughts that accumulate over time. "I should maybe do something about X." Once we've collected a few hundred of these mental-sticky notes, the mind becomes a cloud of unsorted stuff that's bothering us.

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RELATED IDEA

We Keep Avoiding Things We Have To Do

Tasks that are being avoided by us hang around like a dark cloud. Soon there are many such clouds hovering around us. We could start working on a task, but as soon as we think of doing something, we get lost in the cloud.

When a deadline or any other urgency makes us finally tackle the cloud-like task, it changes shape, becomes small, solid and clean. We then realize that the cloud wasn’t the actual task, but was a foggy mess of immaterial stuff. The task is the final product, the solid object which is easier to handle.

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1. Rewrite It

Spend 5 minutes each morning preparing your task list to have only accomplishable tasks that fit the time you have available. Keep other tasks on a holding list for another day.

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The Mind’s GPS Memory

The mind recalls old memories when it visits a certain place(usually where we used to be as kids) in amazing detail. Our memory banks contain so much information that we don’t even know exists, until it gets triggered by a certain location, food, smell or music.

The association mechanism of the mind unlocks the ‘memory locker’ with odd, awkward and embarrassing memories that are stuck inside. We don’t have control over what memory pops up!

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