Clear, Organized and Motivated

Preparing your mind for creative achievement in the modern world

5 Steps to a Clear Mind

Learn a simple 5-step process for getting stray thoughts out of your mind so you can focus on the task at hand. And then learn how to make it work even better. Read More

Started the process

Came across this blog today after looking into boosting my serotonin levels. I read your article and thought, wow that is a really interesting way of solving an issue that i have been trying to deal with for a while.

So i have sat down for the last hour and written out all the things that have been occupying my brain for space. 6 notepad pages later i was quite surprised just how much clutter i have accumulated and am very keen to start cleaning out the cobwebs so to speak.

Thanks for this interesting system, i cant wait to read the next blog post in the series so i can better implement this strategy into my life.

Good to hear!

It's nice to hear that you're finding this method useful. If you haven't cleared your mind in years, it can take an hour or so to do the process the first time.

And then you should probably do it the next day as well. You probably got only 70-80% of the items out on the first run.

After that, you can do it on an "as needed" basis.

I probably do the procedure about once a month now, as I "run clean" most of the time now.

Well, i read the amazing post

Well, i read the amazing post of yours. It really helped me out with lots of things but i am stuck here. How can i define the time limit. I appreciate your help. Just take an example, My list is

To be done:
A (Need a job)

May be later:
X (Study X domain, that will help in job)

Doesn't matter.

Now, if i don't get the job for next 1 month, shall i proceed to "May be later" list or not. Or define some time period. ?


This is an important question

If I'm reading your question correctly, you're considering a dilemma many people face when they find themselves without a job.

Should you spend most of your time looking for work? Or should you spend some of your time acquiring more skills or credentials, so you can be more marketable and increase your chances of finding a job.

When you first face this dilemma the choice might seem obvious. Work hard to find a job. But as time goes on, if you haven't found work, especially if you've had interviews and have been turned down as "under-qualified", it starts to look more sensible to build skills and acquire certifications instead.

This is a classic case of trying to make a decision under conditions of uncertainty.

I don't have a definitive answer for you. But I don't really see this as a case of moving things from your "maybe later" list either.

You might have "learn skill X" on your maybe later list, and then find yourself moving it to your list of active projects at some point. But this "moving things from your maybe later list to your list of active project plans" is done for a very specific reason in this case.

In general you don't worry about your maybe later list in any kind of systematic way. In fact, most of the things that go on that list (an overwhelming majority, in fact) are things you won't actually ever do.

Recurring issues

I'm assuming that if after deleting an item, it comes back up again, it may be prudent to file it into an action category (maybe later, to be done). But, how does one resolve a revolving interpersonal conflict that seems to have no solution? Just delete it and forget it? Or just keep deleting and dismissing it if it keeps coming up?

Re: recurring issues

Hi Evyn.

If you have recurring interpersonal conflict with someone who is important in your life, or whom you can't easily avoid, then you probably need to make the issue an active priority, and see if you can get some resolution of the issues.

Don't delete it. And only put it on the maybe later list if there are more important things vying for your attention right now.

Step two may be optional

I did step one of the procedure (produced a sizable list) and my mind cleared immensely. I didn't bother with step two because a few things leaped out immediately as "Do now or you've had it, buddy." I will worry about the rest as those things get knocked off.

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Jim Stone, Ph.D. is a philosopher, avid student of Motivational Psychology, and developer of personal productivity software and workshops.  


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