There are many reasons why we sometimes don’t know what to do next. You may feel completely overwhelmed because you have too many responsibilities; you might feel vaguely uneasy for no apparent reason; you might feel that you can do better than your current career track, but you don’t know how.
There’s a very simple trick you can follow to sort out your frazzled mind and deal with life’s endless demands and distractions that keep you from discovering how best to live your life.
It won’t cost you anything and it requires no special effort.
Here’s what you do: write everything down.
Take a piece of paper and write everything down that’s going on in your life — things you are worried about, every task, large and small, all projects, social obligations, projects you have to do, promises you have to keep. From doing the dishes to doing presentations and everything in between.
The trick is not to write things down in order to sort out your mind – just write everything down indiscriminately.
Why does writing down anything that comes to mind work?
When you write it down, something takes over and the writing becomes more serious and more purposeful.
It’s like magic. In a short while the mind calms down and reorganizes. It probably because in the process of writing, feelings and emotions become clearer and hidden thoughts and feelings come to the surface to bring a more complete light to the situation.
In due time, what’s really bothering you, what has been obscured by incessant worrying and obsessive repetition of the same thoughts, comes to the surface as clear as daylight.
In particular, writing things down produce these six beneficial results.
1. It clears your mind and readies it for decision-making
This exercise helps the mind to center and reorganize all those spiraling thoughts that leave you in a fog. You’ll notice a picture emerging of the real issue at hand.
You’ll be able to gain insights because you’ve literally emptied your mind of clutter. Doing this prepares your mind for more important thinking.
2. It clarifies underlying emotions
Writing down what’s on our mind is a meaningful and effective way to process your feelings. Life is complicated and people are complicated. Things happen and sometimes one is so caught up in the moment that you can’t see the wood for the trees.
Writing down your thoughts on an issue is a way to get to your feelings. The more your write, the closer you get to the core feeling at work that’s preventing you from knowing what you really want in life or knowing what’s holding you back.
3. It gives you a record of your development.
If you choose to keep an account of your writing somewhere it can serve as a record of your personal development over time. You can refer back to it and remind yourself of previous insights that have helped you in difficult situations.
You might notice a thread running through your writing which could very well serve as the basis for a self-help book. Wouldn’t that be something?
4. You gain a sense of fulfillment
It is extremely satisfying when writing down your thoughts and feelings results in insights into yourself, other people and situations. You grow in personal wisdom that can serve you, and others, for the rest of your life and that is very fulfilling.
You become an asset to society because you are growing in self-awareness.
5. It helps you to enter the unknown
When you write things down, you set a process in motion that is pure magic — you enter a world of possibility.
The very act of writing everything down unconditionally allows you to explore your wildest dreams, and your most treasured ambitions, opening your mind to untold possibilities which you simply can’t notice when you’re overwhelmed and fretting.
6. It helps you to take action
There is something about writing thoughts down and not just living with them in your head that solidifies them. They stare up at you from the page and demand action because you’ve put them in the open.
Writing down your thoughts, your plan of action, your ideals and goals for yourself give them the beginnings of live. It’s the first step in making them become reality. And that first step makes it more likely that you will commit and take action in which case you’ll make your dreams come true.