Getting Things Done When Your Mind Won’t Shut Up

When people say their mind won’t shut up or is always thinking of things, the first thing most assume is that those people get things done. Or are always going in the direction towards their goals and would be very successful. As someone who deals with anxiety and bipolar disorder, my mind is always running on all four cylinders to the point where getting work done seems almost impossible. Sometimes it’s so bad, even just remembering what someone asked me to do unless it’s written down I completely forget about as it gets lost in the mind void of a million thoughts.

So here are just a few things I do to try to help myself from 1) forgetting everything and 2) getting things done. And these can apply to anyone not just those that have a million thoughts from mental disorders.

Don’t Think About Your To Do List the second you wake up

This not seem that obvious but the main thing that helps me is not thinking about my massive to-do lists. The one I have for work, the one I have for my blogs/YouTube channels, and the one I have for around the house. This instantly can set myself into a state of panic and make getting things done the rest of the day a nightmare. Allowing myself at least 10 minutes to wake up helps put me in a better mindset for the day. Generally also in these minutes I start out with letting Pixie out sitting on the floor waiting for her to eat. While she’s doing that I’m scrolling through social media with no intention. Sure it’s not the best habit in the world but I can’t really do other things while I’m waiting for Pixie to eat or she’ll just leave her food bowl and let my roommate’s dog eat it. She’s really bad at eating food during any meal so I have to babysit the bowl to make sure she ends up eating it. So it half acts as me time.

Plan Properly

My to-do lists are broken into three parts as mentioned previously. At work that one is super easy to follow as long as I keep on top of it. We use Dynamic CRM for tracking everything. I’m also trying to learn the development and customization side of that, but that’s another topic for another day… maybe. But this tool really helps keep my priorities straight at work. However, if I don’t document or make a task for myself I often find myself forgetting one of my co-workers asked me to look into something. As often it’s brought up in passing and not over a phone/email conversation I can reference back to. And sometimes the list looks overwhelming, but it all has to get done one way or another. So planning on the day based off the tasks in my activity list really helps me make sure things don’t get lost as my mind races through a million things.

Stop Your Mind From Making Mountains out of Mole-hills

If you don’t know this phase, it basically means don’t over think things and blow them out of portion. This happens a lot with my mental illness. One negative thought quickly turns into a million that can really drag my day down. For instance, at work I should be logging 480 minutes a day in CRM since that equals how long I’m at work. I don’t get paid around what I enter into CRM but it’s good for tracking what you worked on so others can know what you did. I work in support, so these are all for trouble tickets without going into too many details. Anyways… if my tasks don’t add up to 480 minutes or come in and have way more than 480 minutes either will freak me out. One makes to concerned that I’m going to not have enough to do for the day making me feel like it’s going to be an unproductive day though the time always gets filled with something. Or I feel overwhelmed and have to decide what items aren’t worth my attention for that day. Which never is a good feeling especially when you have certain response times you also need to follow. So being overwhelmed is enough to make me not productive since I’m over thinking it. Basically i just have to take a breather then re-access the list and make adjustments. So the mole-hill doesn’t become a mountain that seems almost impossible. What are your tips for stopping yourself from overthinking things?

Use the Single Task Rule

I go back and forth on this one as multi-tasking is something I’ve done for a long time. But it doesn’t make you productive most of the time, as you aren’t reaching the same quality as if you focused on a single thing. At work this is an easy principle to follow since I have to only work on one item at a time as there is no possibility for multi-tasking. But at home, multi-tasking is something that you can freely do. For instance, doing laundry while writing a blog post or two while also watching YouTube videos… let’s just say my laundry often ends up staying in the washing machine way after it’s done and I forget about it until my roommate reminds me I was working on that as well. So focus on a single task on your to-do list really helps make sure it all gets done. Also if it’s something that is only going to take a minute or two, I try to do it right away so it doesn’t end up on the to-do list and sits around for a long time when it could have been resolved almost instantly. Such as putting my makeup away after snapping photos or a video of them. The number of times I used to put that off, would later drive me crazy because my desk/bookcase would become overrun by products.

Do you have any tips for managing a messy mind/anxiety?


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