Step 1: Capture

Once in a while, you have an epiphany!  Capture

A brilliant flash of inspiration that glows bright with the potential to change the world! (Or at least your life in a deep, significant and meaningful way)

But then what happens?

Somehow it slips from your mind. And now you’re beating yourself up because you can’t remember what the stroke of genius was

Unfortunately, our mind is miserable when it comes to remembering things. We tend to think of the brain as a neatly organized folder with labelled compartments. A set-up that should allow us to reach right in and retrieve what is important to us at the right time.

Far from the truth!

In reality the brain is more like a jumbled warehouse. One with dark corners, cracked floors and a magic box in the center that adds to the chaos of thoughts, ideas and opinions at will!

In short not a great place to ‘hold’ your ‘stuff’!

The first step to get in control of your work, is to “CAPTURE”.

What is Capture?

Make a habit of comprehensively collecting anything and everything that has your attention, in a reliable external system for eventual processing. As David Allen says, “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”

One of the reasons why people feel overwhelmed is because they’re using their minds to manage & track their commitments. Whenever you have a thought like “I should to this..” or “This is important…”, write it down!

When you write down your thoughts and commitments, your mind becomes free to do what it does best. To be Creative.

Best practice:

The best practice of Capture, is putting things down in a reliable external system.

Reliable – So you can be rest assured that your important thoughts and to-dos are not ‘lost’ in the shuffle of life and you regularly review them to stay on track with their execution.

External – To save your own brain from the burden of preserving the little things so that it can focus on the big picture and – fine tune and plan.

Worst Practice:

The worst practice is to use your head to remember things. We are able to perceive the identity of only a couple of ideas at a time.

We make the mistake of thinking we can get by with ‘everything in our head’. As soon as the number of thoughts crosses 3, the previous entries are forgotten.

What are my next steps?

Do a Mindsweep Exercise

Step 1: Find a quiet space for yourself for the next 10 mins
Step 2: Take a piece of paper and write down all the things that have your attention. Little or big. Important or trivial. Personal or professional. Write it all down. This will help you look objectively at all your commitments.

Get yourself 2 critical capturing tools

An intray for office, to capture physical items.
A pocket notebook, to capture ideas when you’re on the go.