Do you ever have one of those days where your mind runs a million miles a minute?
It happens a lot when we get excited, but also when we experience fear. Strong emotions cause us to forge ahead and ask questions later. I don’t have to tell you that this isn’t always a good idea. In fact, it usually isn’t.
Here are two perfect examples. Both of them involve packing for a two-week trip (if only!).
In scenario (a), a friend calls you and invites you on a spontaneous trip to get out of town for a bit. You have only a few hours to pack before she picks you up.
Scenario (b) isn’t quite as pleasant. A hurricane is barreling towards your home and you are required to evacuate. You have a few hours to pack what you need and get out.
Both scenarios require you to pack the essentials and neither one of them leaves you in a good state of mind to do it without forgetting something important.
Situations like this, and many others that aren’t quite as fun or scary, will have better outcomes if you force yourself to slow down.
Force Yourself to Slow Down
One of the best ways to do that is to grab a pen and a piece of paper. I’m serious. Give it a try right now. It doesn’t matter what you have on your plate. It could be a trip to the grocery store – or maybe you were planning on reorganising your wardrobe.
Writing things down forces you to stop and think. It makes you evaluate your options, decide on the steps you want or need to take, and then put them in the right order.
When we think about something, we often stop after developing a vague idea. Putting that idea into writing forces our mind to slow down. It gives us time to flesh out the idea and turn it into a step-by-step action plan.
Ready to give it a try?
Think about something you want to accomplish over the next few weeks. This could be a home improvement project, a report that’s due for a client, or it could be something fun like that book you’ve thought about writing.
Put it into writing. Start by writing down exactly what it is you want to do. What’s your goal?
With your end goal written down, it’s time to figure out how to get from where you are at now to where you want to go. Break the goal down into small milestones and from there you can come up with daily tasks and to-do lists that will help you get there.
Try it and see how the process of writing it down helps you get a clear picture of what you need to do to reach your goal. It’s slow thinking in action.