Clear Your Head and Write It Down


Female hand writing in a notebook.

One of my favorite ways to de-stress is to write things down.  This pertains to everything in my life.  When I am overwhelmed with too many things to do and I am carrying the answers/schedule/details, you name it, in my head, I WRITE IT DOWN.  This results in shedding 10 pounds and adding 10 years to my life. Ok, maybe a slight exaggeration, but, here’s the best part; it feels that way, and that is really what counts in the moment.  Typing might be helpful for some, putting it in your phone might work for others, but physically writing it down, pen to paper in a wire bound notebook, works the best for me.  I am not alone on with this; there is a lot of current research on the health benefits of journaling.

The issue that most consistently surfaces with my amazing and talented clients is,  “How can I get more accomplished and feel more organized?”  The solution that works most reliably, with the least effort and the best results, is to keep a schedule and a list of what needs to be done, both professionally and personally. How do you do that? WRITE IT DOWN.

When we write we can automatically move away from problem-generating mode and towards problem-solving mode.  We unload our over-burdened brain from all the details that we insist it holds, sometimes with a vice-like grip.  We save countless hours of “trying to remember”, be it, what is the next action item I need to do on a particular project? What time or date is x happening? (If it is not on your calendar), Who am I supposed to email and about what? Did I book the flight, car, and Doctor appointment?  I am sure that you could keep adding to this list.

Imagine what it might be like to spend some time each day, I usually do it last thing before I leave my desk, writing down all the things that need to be done for the following day.  You now have a clear outline of what you want to accomplish and a simple way of checking if you are on task. For those over-achievers out there, please do not make this as long as a 5 year olds’ Christmas list.

We all have long-term projects, goals, and dreams that cannot be accomplished in a day, or even several months.  However, writing them down allows us to plan for the future.  For example, if you are thinking about changing your career, you might ask yourself, what more do I want to know about this field?  What am I curious about?  Who do I know that might help me?  Getting the answers will make your goal more achievable, and realistic.  Break it down by; yes you got it, WRITING IT DOWN.

If you are feeling angry, hurt, stressed, undervalued or just having a good old pity party, WRITE IT DOWN.  It is amazing how writing about what is bothering you can turn a mood around.  You get your wiser, kinder and more realistic perspective on the situation.  You can still have a pity party, but you may not need to.  No holds barred in this pen on paper smack down.  Write an uncensored account about what you are thinking, feeling, imagining, and inventing.  I have found it is better to write about them, than to act on them with an unclear head…  just take my word for that one…  Various people have told me they are afraid to do this because, “What if someone finds it?”  Well the simple solution to that is a shredder or a match.  Your writing does not need to be shared, eulogized, verified, analyzed, nor any other word ending in “ed”. It is not about anyone else, it is about you.

On the topic of writing things down, I discovered a very useful website called Get Your Shit Together. Yes, the name really speaks for itself.  The author is a wonderful lady who lost her husband unexpectedly in a biking accident.  She has put together a comprehensive list of what she felt would have helped her, as she says on her website:  All of that extra stress and pain could have easily been avoided with a few hours of organization and follow through. I don’t want anyone to suffer the same way.”  I realize this can be a sensitive subject, and we all hope that we and those we love live-forever.  Nonetheless, you might want to consider if it might give you some peace of mind to just write it down.  It might, at the very least, help you get more organized.  Looking through the list reminded me that my passport was about to expire. Now how could I ever get to Tahiti on a moments notice without a passport?






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