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Journal

Simplicity Of The Next Choice

JKLTip Take inventory of your to-do list and make sure your brain is asked to remember as little information as possible. 

This might sound like both the smartest and dumbest post all at the same time. That’s because of the simplicity of the lesson. Make a choice as to what your next step is and do only that step. Afterward, make a decision as to what is next and do just that thing once again. 

This advice is extremely helpful when it comes to keeping things simple. I find when people struggle with stress around goal setting there is often so much complexity in the way. In these moments, the most important thing we can do is simplify. 

The extreme exaggeration is to become focused on the present moment. Things like meditation, yoga and art therapy can bring us into the moment. In many intense moments, these healthy coping mechanisms may be exactly what you need. But, what about when you want to take action toward your goal?

It is only possible to do one thing at a time. Therefore, in practical terms, the best thing we can do is decide what action is next. This seems obvious but as funny as it sounds, we rarely actually show we understand it. We need not think at all about anything else on our to-do list. It does not do any good when we are focused and working to be thinking of anything else but the task at hand.

How It Helps To Focus And Repeat

My ability to get a lot of work done is directly related to the fact that I have figured out how to do this with decent efficiency. There is a trick that pushes the concept beyond solid sense to actual practice. In order for us not to overthink, we must have a system for storing future next steps.

It’s important to think of everything we want to do in life, when it is time to dream. It’s also important to think of new ideas and possible solutions, when it is time to brainstorm. There is little to no benefit to think of things more than once.

So, here are a couple of ways that help us clear our mind. One is to record everything. Have a system for writing down to-do items, with the next steps and ideally timelines. In order for your mind to truly declutter and be present, it must be a system that can not break. It must be a system that is foolproof, bullyproof and bulletproof. 

The second thing is to figure out what schedules work best for you. Not what works best for others, but what works best for you. Create cues, remove friction and develop routines that allow your mind to work as little as possible. 

The simplicity of these hacks will free up that beautiful brain to do the exciting, impactful and creative work It will also, and arguably most importantly allow you to be completely present when in friends, family, and recreation, or hobby mode. And who wouldn’t want that?

*Come Write A Guest Post: 8 Billion People
** Read Why Just Keep Learning: JKL Post

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