What to do With all of this Head Goop

Back in September, work was incredibly busy – but it was a good busy. I was working on some pretty fun stuff like tradeshow swag, holiday items and print ads. Plus, there’s nothing like a little good old-fashioned job security! But still, it was crazy – lots of extra-long, hyper-focused, “don’t forget!” days.

Being so busy at work made it really hard to keep track of my personal tasks. I had so many to-do items swirling around in my head that I felt overwhelmed, scattered and unable to focus. Every time a “don’t forget!” would pop in my head, my brain went into overdrive and recited every-single-task it was storing. (see also: overwhelming)

I tried downloading goal-setting and task-accomplishing apps – but they just turned into another thing I had to remember to do. (see also: defeating the purpose)

I decided I just needed to get all of this “goop” out of my head. So, I grabbed an unused notebook and wrote EVERYTHING down. From the little daily items to weekly/monthly plans, even the random “don’t forget you have a coupon for XYZ that expires on…” – it all got written down with a checkbox next to it.

Ladies and gentlemen, it was a game-changer. I immediately felt like a weight was lifted. I finally felt like I had a clear idea of what and when to get things done. My brain was no longer over-flowing with tasks and to-dos and “don’t forgets!“. (see also: head goop)

My Head Goop bookMy Head Goop
 

Sure, it looks a little crazy…but how that page looks is exactly how my brain had felt: busy, overcrowded and disorganized. Nevertheless, there is just something about being able to see it all that makes it seem manageable. I no longer have to worry about remembering every little detail and feel a sense of relief just knowing that everything was written down.

I bring this book everywhere and update it constantly. There is something strangely rewarding in writing my tasks down. I feel a small sense of accomplishment because I know that writing it down is the first step to getting it done. Plus, I think we can all agree that few things are more rewarding than crossing an item off of a to-do list! I love flipping through previous pages to look at all of the items I’ve checked off.

Alright – so maybe my “head goop” book is nothing more than a glorified to-do list…but I maintain than it is infinitely better than my previous systems. (see also: “overloaded brain“, “forgetting post-it notes at work“)

In fact, I think this is the best idea I’ve had since I “invented” the 5-minute Journal:

The 5-minute Journal

To re-cap, the 5-minute Journal is when you use a planner as a journal. It’s the perfect amount of space to jot down the things worth remembering from your daily life. As I said in my original post: If you realize that you have nothing interesting to write about – it’s a good sign that it’s time to shake things up!

Keeping up with these 2 books are part of my 2014 Goals. Ridding my brain of clutter goop is a healthy habit that is worth continuing!

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6 thoughts on “What to do With all of this Head Goop

  1. Awesome! Glad to hear it’s still working for you!

    I’ve recently become very good friends with the built-in Reminders app in my iPhone. I can set daily things and also one-time things. I mostly use it to remember things (duh, it’s called Reminders) but recently I’ve been using it to kick my butt: a reminder in the evening to blog, one to pack my lunch, one to read. Hopefully it helps me get into habits!

    • I think I’m addicted to this book. I feel like I don’t know how I ever kept my sanity without it!

      I wouldn’t mind an app to help me make some daily habits…keep me posted on if Reminders helps with that :)

  2. I love this. Lists are like Xanex to me. I immediately feel more calm once I’ve written a bunch of stuff down and organized them according to importance. I use the notepad on my computer to make my lists and getting to delete an item is like vacuuming my brain. I also find if I’m having trouble writing or formulating an idea, I’ll do three pages of free association writing just to purge the junk from my head. Then I can usually get going with an actual post. Thanks for this!

    • Haha – Xanex – good call!! That might explain why I feel addicted to this book of mine … I’m certain I would get the shakes if I didn’t have it within reach. Sometimes I get annoyed when I take care of something that I hadn’t written down – but I’m not above writing that something down just to cross it off :P It just feels so good! Good call on the free association writing…that would probably save me a lot of time writing here – get all the junk out of the way. Thanks for stopping by – I’m a BIG fan of your blog, so it means a lot that you stopped by and commented :)

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