5 Minute Overwhelm Cure: Mind Mapping & Action Lists

Video Transcription

Hi, I’m Dr. Brad Holden. HealthFirst Spine & Wellness. Welcome to Wellness Wednesday, where you will learn tips on your spine, mind, food, and move. Today’s topic is the five minute overwhelm cure. I don’t know if you’re like me, but many times I would get in this state of overwhelm where I’d feel there was too much to do, I don’t have enough time or resources to do it. When the occurs I myself shut down, meaning I don’t do anything. I start procrastination like crazy, which is weird, because that does nothing to help me deal with overwhelm. I’ve come up with a five minute cure that helps me to get out of this state every single time, and get into an empowered state where I’m actually making progress going forward, accomplishing those things that I want to accomplish. So I’m going to review that here with you today.

So the first step in this five minute overwhelm cure is mind mapping, or brainstorming. What we want to do during this time is we want to get everything that’s in our mind out. Anything that’s stressing us out, any items that we need to do, any projects that need to be accomplished, we want to get them out. You can get them out just in list format, and that works fine too. If you can just start at the top of the list and just start listing off all of those different things. My brain works a little better with a technique called mind mapping. We’re going to do a whole video on mind mapping. But simply it’s where you start with a central theme. This, we’ll just call it overwhelm. From this central theme we’re going to build out branches of different areas of my life that are creating overwhelm.

I may start off with work, I may start off with family, I may start off with a branch for a house, chores. So whatever comes to my mind, as fast as it’s coming to my mind I want to get it on paper. So if it’s work it may be, I have to finish this report. I’ve got to do this audit. The miscellaneous, I need to send this email, I need to get my oil changed, I need to call the repair guy, I need to pay bills, I need to meet with an attorney. So the bottom line is you just take a few minutes and brain dump anything that’s on your mind as fast as possible.

After about five to ten minutes or so you’re going to have all of this done. Usually it takes me about five minutes. But you’re going to get all of this done. I think you’re going to find you have less things on this than you thought you would. A lot of times when we’re overwhelmed our brain is looping, meaning it’s giving us the same four or five things that need to be done. It seems like it’s an infinite amount of things, but really it’s very finite. So we want to get that infinite into finite on paper. So this is step one, which is going to be brainstorm.

Now step two is you’re going to take each of these items here that are there, and you’re going to put them on one of two different lists here. The list goes like this. On this side are things that I can do. On this side are things that I cannot do anything about. So a lot of times the things that occupy our brains really are some of those items that we can’t do anything about. We can’t really do anything about world conflict. Maybe we can, but not readily easily. We can’t do anything to readily affect the economy. We can’t affect the actions that other people take.

So I’ll take the list from my brainstorming list, and I’ll put them in I can do something about this. I can get my car repaired. I can pay bills. I can finish this project. I can call this person. I can do this email. I can call this house repair person. But I can’t do anything about the world economy. I can’t do anything about world peace necessarily. I can’t do anything about this. Then once I get my list subdivided, I’ll start with this list here, and I will just literally tell myself to let go. Meaning when I’m laying in bed, or I’m thinking about things on this list, I’ll just remind myself with a deep breath in, let go. I can’t do anything about that. I need to accept I can’t do anything about this, and don’t let it take up any more of my mental RAM in mulling over this. Which leaves me with  one list of things I can do.

Now this list of things that I can do, I need a place to start. So I usually ask myself two questions as I attack this list. The first question is what am I avoiding? What am I avoiding doing most on this list? Usually that’s a good place where I need to start. The things I’m avoiding the most are probably where I can make the biggest impact. There’s also probably some fear there, some uncertainty, and that’s where I need to start.

The second question I’ll ask myself is based on some of the Gary Keller’s work. What is the one thing that if I did on this list would make either the rest of the list easier, make it not necessary, or impact my life the most? Now I use these two questions to filter what I start with. A lot of times they’ll point to the same item. If not, I need to pick one. Now here’s an important point. Let’s say I decide it’s this one right here. Immediately before I Ieave the journaling session I think, what is the next action, literally the next action I can take. Is it send an email? Is it draft an outline? Is it call somebody? Is it put a reminder on my calendar? What is it? We have a whole series coming out on how do you actually accomplish these things, how do you break the time aside, how do you put it on your calendar. How do you stay focused, how do you get over procrastination. But for now we just want to take the next action on this list.

You’ll find that when you go through this process no matter how much overwhelm you seem to be in, it allows you to get really clear and concise about what you need to do. You realize you can only do one thing at a time anyways. For me it has really helped in clarifying those things I need to take action on.

So I hope this helped you, and I look forward to meeting with you again on Wellness Wednesday. If you have any questions, post them in a comment below. Thank you so much, and have an amazing week. Take care. Bye.

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