Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Brain Ram

I have found that people that are stressed get that way because they are trying to use more RAM than they have. If you are not familiar with RAM, it is the memory in your computer that is stores things that you are working on currently. Think of this as the top of your desk in your office.

The problem is that most people try to remember everything. This would be the equivalent or trying to keep everything on your computer open without storing anything on the hard drive. The office analogy of the hard drive is the filing cabinet. In your office you probably have files that you store in your filing cabinet keeping until you are talking to a client, or need to reference a particular file. Most people would do the same digitally, save the file on your hard drive for later access. Most people, however, do not do this for there brain.

People try to remember everything, from the tasks they need to do, a project they are working on, to take a package to the post office, or assign a task to a team member. I know that people are very good at handling things but humans are not very good at multitasking, and even worse at remembering. We do have a "hard drive" but it is the longer term memory and it is slower to access. If you have had a computer for some time you know that it will get slower over time. Adding RAM will typically help this slowness because you are giving your computer more space to do its thing.

As humans, we cannot upgrade our RAM (yet, but this is a different discussion). We can, however, free up the RAM we do have by moving as much as possible to other mediums. These mediums could be a journal, a blog (that's exactly what I'm doing here), or any other medium that allows you to record your thoughts for later retrieval. In many cases, stress can be traced back to not having enough brain RAM.

The best way to relieve stress is to preform a brain RAM dump. I have described the process below.

First, write down everything you have on your mind on a piece of paper, or many pieces of paper or even an entire notebook. Just get everything off your mind.*

Now the first rule to this exercise is you have to keep writing. The second rule is you can't stop to try and address anything you are writing. Just let it all come out. This includes any thoughts that come to mind, remember this is RAM so anything can come up. This applies to your personal and business life and any other lives you may be living. Just keep writing. Maybe you have a big project, or you just started remodeling your house, or maybe you're worried about what is for dinner, or that you need to check on the status of xyz. All these are valid thoughts.

After you have let everything out start sorting everything in to categories, your categories may vary but put everything in an order that makes sense to you. As you are organizing you will start to see a pattern start to form. The beginning of the list will have many of the things that are in fire mode, they need immediate attention. As you go down further you will start seeing things that you had forgotten about, but you still need to do but they haven't caught on fire yet.. These are the things that you have stored away and will deal with later.

Now that you have categories you can start creating projects or adding them to the regular projects that you have set up in Asana, or the task management software you have selected. Having all of these projects in a separate system transfers the load to that system and will allow you to not keep them in RAM. This will make you more relaxed, more productive, have more energy and most of all more efficient. I hope this article helps you become better at manageing your time. Please leave your comments and suggestions below.

To your success.

*I prefer to do this on physical paper with a pen because if you are writing everything down you cannot make a mistake. There is no wrong. If you prefer this can also be done on a computer. I know that I did use a computer the first few times I did this because I type faster than I write and keeping up with my mind once it starts going is a challenge. Do what is best for you.

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