This week did not start well: I sat down at my desk, opened my computer, and promptly developed a nervous tick, (or what I more accurately term: nervous click).
I checked email. I checked Facebook. I made the odd comment, answered the odd email. I refreshed both pages to see what was new... Nothing was new, so I refreshed the pages again.
What was I doing? I was checking email and Facebook.
What was I really doing? I was doing my damnedest to avoid the fact that I was overwhelmed by all the thoughts in my head about what I wanted to do this week. I had no clear intention and was vainly hoping that checking Facebook and email (which ironically are both full of other people’s priorities and intentions...!) was going to inspire me (or at the very least make me feel I was achieving something).
After 30 minutes nervous clicking, I’d achieved the grand total of: nothing.
This was yesterday - Tuesday is my Monday – and Mondays, in my experience, (Tuesdays in my case), carry a particularly high risk of nervous click.
Unless, I unleash the Unstoppable Power of My Intention, BEFORE nervous click sets in.
Let me explain:
A Solutions Device, Not A Storage Device
Our brains, (contrary to the way we often try to treat them), are solutions devices, not storage devices.
Our brains like to get things done. When our brains are overloaded with thoughts, as mine was yesterday morning, they look for the nearest and most defined task they can get done and feel a sense of completion and satisfaction about. That’s why the washing up can look so attractive when you’ve got a report to write, or Facebook can seem so very appealing when there’s a big long list of things to get done, but a lack of clarity about where to begin or what’s a priority.
Our brains want to help us, but they need definition and clear instruction.
This is where intentions come in.
The Might of The Big Red Cartoon Arrow
Intention-setting acts like a big red cartoon arrow pointing down from the sky, helping our brains sift through never-ending fog of 'to dos', and focus in on what's truly important.
Once I realized my mistake yesterday, I back tracked, shut my computer and started where I normally start: with emptying all the thoughts running round my brain onto a piece of paper and setting my intentions for the week; three key things I want to get done over everything else, that will make me feel really good about myself and my business, and help me to move forward. I then broke these down into manageable bite-sized tasks with defined beginnings and endings and put these in my calendar.
By the end of the day I’d made significant progress with two of those intentions. I'd resurrected my week, was feeling purposeful and good about life again, and that nervous click...
Admittedly there’s a clear process I follow to ensure I stay on track and get things done, but what I’ve discovered over time is that even if I don’t do as I prefer to do and break down and calendarise the tasks related to my intentions, just drawing my brain’s attention to those key intentions seems to be enough.
Magically, whatever else is going on, however busy the week, however many other important 'to dos' come on to my list, those intentions, seem to get done.
- In what ways do you experience the unstoppable power of your intention?
- How do you get clear on your intentions before your week begins?
- There’s still time, and I'd love to know: What are you intentions for the rest of this week...?!
I love hearing your thoughts and feedback - drop me a line in the comments below.
*You can get a free copy of the the super-effective 'Getting Things Done' Toolkit which covers emptying your brain and intention-setting in lots more detail, when you subscribe to this blog.*