Declutter your mind

I recently read Personal Productivity Secrets by Maura Nevel Thomas. Her system organizes the constant influx of information in modern life. The result is better clarity, which leads to peace of mind. This concept resonates with me. How much time do I waste remembering where I filed something? How much brainpower gets diverted to recalling important tasks? Where should I focus today? How do I prioritize for maximum impact?

We are inundated with information. Facebook is a valuable company because it harnesses it, disperses it, and calculates how to make us addicted to it. Email is another constant data stream. My inbox has over 30,000 unread messages. I would need to spend months trying to sort though it all. Social media and info-delivering services will only increase as time goes on.

The author’s system makes information processing more effective. It’s a method to keep your brain on track and less distracted. This is similar to meditation in that it helps with focus. The author’s techniques help by better organizing daily information flow.

There is no end to incoming information. Dealing with it requires a strategy. The protocol prevents a mountain of randomness from piling up and causing you stress.

My biggest take-away was task prioritization. It evolved my to-do list into a much more effective tool by using a process to categorize and sort my tasks. I use To Do in Outlook and I label my tasks with hashtags for an easy way to sort according to urgency. Now I have more impact during my day.

There methods to sort information. When you find what works, be disciplined about using it. We tend toward the path of least resistance, so keep it simple. Try one or two of the techniques in the book and see what sticks.

Using the task categories has already made my days more productive. Having a prioritized list is much more effective than writing a random list. Now I’m getting the right things done at the right time. A more peaceful mind is the result.

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