The priceless thing today in any part of the world is Silence. Headspace is a more contemporary term to define our peace of mind. It comes at a premium. With every boon, there is a bane – two sides of the same coin – nobody to blame.
Such is life.
It’s up to us.
Let’s ponder over some time-tested foolproof ways to ensure we get more headspace so we all create and add value to each other that is time-tested too to make it reach our future generations.
The way our mind works is not completely clear to us. But it connects relative things and sometimes non-relative stuff too. But there is always a connection happening. Mind maps work the same way – there is a central main subject from where all the branches stretch out. Take a central idea and branch out your relative ideas from there. This can help in decision making, idea creations, story-telling, among the many uses of mindmaps. If the brain is the lock, the mind map is the key.
Recommended reading: Mind Maps: Quicker Notes, Better Memory and Improved Learning 3.0
The age-old to-do lists – be it on paper, notebook, whiteboard, mobile app, desktop app, tissue paper, toilet paper – it serves the purpose. All that matters is you have to get your fleeting thought from your head to paper. You can always organize the list later. Organizing has its own science – call it Johari Window of Time management or simply Time management grid or matrix, with the urgent, important, not urgent and not important grid-engulfed tasks. A goal without a plan is just a wish – Antoine De Saint-Exupery.
Recommended readings: The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload and Thinking, Fast and Slow
I personally use Google Calendar for personal tasks and Outlook calendar for my office related tasks and I hope someday both will merge. Having two calendars is useful to separate my tasks at home and office, however it might become cumbersome maintaining both. Although, that is not the point being made here, calendars are so useful for you to put the tasks you had identified from your to do lists – so that they get done. Commitment is the underlying behavior we make to ourselves when we use calendar. Of course, a stricter discipline is required to stick to the tasks we’ve put on our calendars, or else the entire purpose goes waste. Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of – Charles Richards (Canadian Politician)
Recommended reading: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
Meditation is like a conscious sleep. Our brains rest with our efforts by helping the mind focus on nothingness. Some people prefer to focus on any one thing, mostly their breath, but if you can go a step further and focus on nothingness, void, space, you can still achieve better results. It’s actually simple – don’t control your thoughts, like the magnets that lost its magnetic power falling off the metal, the thoughts will fall apart from you. It takes constant and consistent practice for you to get to that level, but eventually it will happen. And once that happens, your mind becomes like a freshly cleaned container that can be used for creating anything wonderful. Such is the power of our mind. Don’t fill it with trash. Empty it daily with the help of meditation. To meditate does not mean to fight with a problem. To meditate means to observe – Thich Nhat Hanh
Taking A Walk Alone
Whenever possible take some time to walk alone observing the world around you. Have no thoughts with any deliberate thinking, unless you want to use this time to purposefully think about any specific task – which of course works either way. Use it to calm your mind and to see the world’s awe or use it to focus on a task – you will get answers from sources you wouldn’t have expected from. Such is the power of our minds – it is a great connector of sorts. The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. Those who walk alone are likely to find themselves in places no one has ever been before. – Albert Einstein.
Recommended readings:The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.
You might have heard the phrase ‘sharpening the saw’. Our minds are no less – just like with other methods mentioned in this article, taking a simple 5-minute break will help as well. Periodically take a 5 minute to 10-minute break from whatever you are doing. Consider the Pomodoro Technique: it’s a great tool that professes using 25-minute chunks to work on a task and taking a 5-minute break from that task to do nothing. This helps in so many ways. Some of the quick ways I could think of include seeing the bigger picture of why we are doing a task, collecting and connecting relevant and related thoughts to help ease our ongoing task, having a glass or two of water to bring in more oxygen to our brains, to name a few. Sometimes, you just need a break, in a beautiful place. Alone. To figure everything out – anonymous.
Recommended reading:Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Find Your Sacred Space And Time
Someone once asked a wise Zen monk why we have temples when you say that God is everywhere. To which the monk replied, why do you need a radio when there are radio waves everywhere? That was a profound question with innumerable interpretations if you can read between the lines. Isn’t it? Such is the power of having a sacred space and time for ourselves to focus and focus and focus. We all know that only a focused sun beam can bore a hole, not the scattered one. Cannot stress more on finding your sacred spot – both on the clock and where you work (could be your favorite desk at home, could you a corner bench and the local library, or a seat at your nearest Starbucks – could be anywhere – only you can find that). Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again – Joseph Campbell.
Recommended reading: Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking
Our very old friend – sleep. We all started our lives with a 10-month long sleep in our mother’s womb. And we grew up with the help of sleeping – it cannot be ignored. That’s the design of our biological mechanics and functioning of the human body. With adequate sleep, one can reach greater heights. Sleep is the best meditation – Dalai Lama.
Recommended reading: Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain
Log And Write Your Journal
After having followed the above-given methods, if you regularly start putting your tasks from to-do list to your calendar, and getting things done, logging your tasks and things that got done will be an easy task. But mere logging is just note taking where you will find your entries like the ones made by a gate-keeper. You will have to journal them. Reflect on your work. Find connections and see what value you have added at the end of every day. See what went well and what didn’t go well. These are small lessons hidden like seeds which you can use tomorrow to plant and make a better day. Imagine how many seeds go wasted if we don’t journal our thoughts and reflections. Let’s at least begin Journaling today. It helps you fly high and see a pattern of how your life has been and will be. A personal journal is an ideal environment in which to ‘become’. It is a perfect place for you to think, feel, discover, expand, remember, and dream. – Brad Wilcox.
Recommended reading: The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
Now it’s your turn:
As mentioned at the start of this article, we might have a lot of tools in our arsenal but nothing works until we do. Again, it’s a choice. Now it’s your turn, what methods you use that is different from the ones given above, to find your headspace? Share it with us in the comments below.