How to Control Your Overactive Mind
Updated: May 25
Happy Monday and welcome to another episode. I'm your host Lindsay Sutherland, Business Consultant, and Evergreen Marketing Strategist.
Are you the type of person who wakes up thinking about what you need to do that day? Do you feel like your mind is constantly racing with new ideas, problem-solving puzzles, and keeping a list of to-dos and an update on your calendar? And you wonder why you feel so mentally drained at the end of the day haha.
This episode is focused on the mindset of clearing the mind! Having a clear mind is so important as business owners and as humans. It allows us to be present and calm. To experience clarity about ourselves and our future. It fosters richer quality time with friends and family. And overall reduces stress.
We can become so accustomed to carrying the burden of our thinking that we don’t even notice how much energy we devote to managing and maintaining our thoughts - remembering important tasks and promises, remembering what bills to pay when what activities are coming up, you name it. Often the root of overwhelm is simply relying too much on our brainpower and not having a system in place to keep us accountable.
Here are some simple ways to tell if you are relying too heavily on your memory and it could be impacting your health and well-being.
1 - Your work or home space is cluttered. They say your outsides reflect your insides. It’s easy to think, “That’s not true, my spaces are cluttered because I’m so busy. I don’t have time to keep them tidy.” The reality is what actually happens is we feel constantly rushed and out of time because a load of thoughts feels so huge and never-ending that we don’t think we could possibly find time for anything. However, you will see when your mind is clear you feel inclined to tidy up your space. It feels good and it is easier to keep it that way. Now, if have kiddos I understand not every space in your house will be Pinterest worthy, but the spaces that are yours will be.
2 - You have notes on many different papers and in many different places
Some say this is a result of a creative brain and that it’s a representation of their creativity or their ADD. Although that may be true to some degree, often it is just an expression of a cluttered mind.
3 - You are forgetful - If you find yourself forgetting important things or frequently simply can’t recall words or memories, yes, it could be that you have a medical condition, but, that is not what I’m referring to here. What happens is our brains get so overwhelmed with information we experience gaps. We just lose things because it is too much to hold on to.
Does any of this sound familiar? Are you realizing that you may be using more memory than you realized? It’s easy to do and for busy people especially it becomes second nature.
I remember I used to pride myself on how sharp I was. How I could rely on my mind to recall information like an encyclopedia. Working in the car business - I could remember all the details about recalls - What recall number went with which recall, whether the part was in stock or had to be ordered, what engines it applied to. That's just one example. People used to call me the recall encyclopedia LOL. But, that wasn’t the only thing I carried in my mind - employee time off requests, customers I promised a callback, management meetings… the list goes on.
Yes, I wrote things down, but since I was walking around the dealership most of the time, I relied on my memory.
When I left my career I knew the job was silently killing me, but it was not until moving three states away and taking a year off from doing anything that I really understood just how damaging that lifestyle was.
I experienced a sort of PTSD if you will that became noticeable in that year off. Any mild stressor would cause an immediate stiffening of my neck that resulted in a massive headache. It was like my body was responding more than it needed to based on its body memory.
So, even though you may not be aware yet, having a cluttered mind is affecting you, but you can reverse it.
Hopefully, this episode brings you some awareness that can help you take action. As you know, awareness is always the first step.
The second step is to find a system to organize yourself. For some that is a day planner. I have a good friend who carries a day planner with her everywhere. It has her life in it! She is very successful with this tool.
Personally, I found day planners difficult because I didn’t always have them with me. Sometimes I get my best ideas when I’m driving or hiking. I almost always have my cell phone with me. So for a while, my system was to use my calendar, and a task list but that was not helpful unless I looked inside of it. Unless I opened the list I was not reminded of things so what happened is I still relied on my mind and only used my list as a backup in case I forgot or to make sure I got it all done.
What has been a game-changer for me was Asana. It's a task management tool which I only became aware of when I hired a VA because I wanted to keep us organized and she couldn’t see my phone-based to-do list.
Now I use Asana for even things that are personal like doing my taxes and for future plans.
Anytime I have a business idea that I want to launch I use Asana to create a project and list out to-dos that would need to happen to get it done.
This is miraculous because now all my ideas are in one spot and when I have spare time or I’m ready to start a new project all of my ideas are easily found.
Simply finding a system that works for you is key - it doesn’t have to be asana. But it does need to be consistent, easy to use, and easy to access, or else it will not be sustainable.
Take your mental health seriously - you will enjoy life more fully and be more effective than you ever imagined. Take time to reflect on what is working and what is not and be willing to try a few things until you find the right one.
It’s time to normalize living relaxed and mellow - so much emphasis has been put towards the hustle and bustle and overworking ourselves. We pride ourselves on how much we can do while simultaneously complaining that we do too much. Until we give ourselves permission to do less and live more we won’t be free from the chaos.
Alright friends, that's it for this episode, until next time. Bye for now.