Triptych: The Cure for Proscrastination, Part 5

Tell me, did you procrastinate on anything yesterday?

If so (don’t worry – we all do it at different times) maybe today’s email will help.

In karate, there’s a concept called ‘mizu no kokoro’.

And while I don’t propose you start breaking boards with your fists, the concept is quite useful.

See, most of us use our brain in the wrong way.

In fact, most of us use it too much, but overthinking and mind-dominance are a different story.

The mind is a magnificent tool, when used correctly.

You put stuff in there, you let it simmer, and then you get to have all kinds of ideas.

Wonderful process, wonderful ideas.

But the mind is not where you should store those ideas – that’s where most people go wrong.

Nor is the mind where you should store task lists.

Your mind is for thinking, for making new ideas, and then?

Offload those ideas, drop them out of your mind.

And your tasks, reminders, and to dos – same goes for them.

Don’t walk around with a head full of things to do, as if you’re some sort of biological calendar – store them elsewhere.

Because if you don’t, you’ll feel a constant weight on you, of SO. MANY. THINGS. TO. DO!

And that pressure, the permanent self-bullying of all that stuff you need to take care of, that’s one major reason why people procrastinate.

Your subconscious registers that there’s too much to even contemplate, and throws in the towel.

So, clear your mind.

Any idea, to do, task, whatever it is: store it elsewhere.

It’s why my wallet is a little folder with note cards in them, and a pen tucked into the fold.

This way, I have a way to store ideas and tasks everywhere I go.

If that’s not your style, then use your phone.

Got an idea, remember something to take care of later?

Send yourself an email.

Or install the GTD (Getting Things Done) or another app for tasks.

Here’s one I discovered last week:

An app called Remember The Milk.

I added a second app called ‘Speak Here Now’, which connects with RTM.

I tap the Speak icon, I say “Remember to call John” or something, and…

Katsu!

It automatically shows up in RTM, for me to find and take care of later.

The result?

Nothing to remember, everything organised, a system that is nearly hands off, and…

A clear, empty mind, just like water, ready to be used for my work and my creativity.

So if you don’t have a system to instantly remove any task from your mind, I highly recommend you set one up now, and make a habit of using it.

Your mind will thank you for it.

Cheers,

Martin


Also published on Medium.

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