Have you ever begun considering your to-dos only to find yourself quickly overwhelmed? Do you start lists in your head and end up unable to remember where you started? Whether it is the result of New Year's Resolution overload or a habitual high drive, most people today are beyond busy. And even the most well organized and disciplined among us get caught rushing from one commitment to another with our minds racing. We are busy plotting out a grocery list as we scurry home from the office, we map out the logistics of our weekend schedule as we rush to the gym, we make mental notes about our upcoming playgroup snack duty as we speed to the market. We lie in bed most nights plotting how to accomplish all we need to do in the day or week to come.
While it is good to think ahead, this abundance of information can make our heads spin. Researchers believe the human brain can retain only three to five pieces of information at any one time. For most of us, that means we are not physically capable of managing the data in our minds at any given moment. So what can we do (other than slow down...)?
Write it down! Whether you put pen to paper or type a note into your smartphone, the simple act of allowing the printed word to lift the burden from your overtaxed mind can be incredibly therapeutic. Seeing a list - even a sprawling, seemingly endless inventory - can help you more accurately assess what needs to be done, prioritize the items of greatest importance, and marshal your (limited) resources of time and energy accordingly.
Whether you opt for a stylish template, the back of an envelope, or a high tech instrument, write it down - and give your brain a break.