My Mind Is A (small) Glass of Water: A Lesson on Productivity
I like to compare my mind to a glass of water.It’s small, mostly transparent, and limited in capacity. I can add water to the brim of the glass, but once it’s full it can no longer fit any additional water. Instead, it just spills over the side of the glass and runs all over the table. In the same way, my mind is continually filled with bits and pieces of information – thus when new information is added, the old tends to spill out.In my previous two articles here on BiggerPockets.com, I mentioned a book called “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. This book, along with several other strategies, helped to redefine the way I treat productivity and I want to take a couple minutes to teach you more about what I’ve learned and how it revolutionized the way I get things accomplished.Losing My Mind In My TwentiesDoes this sound familiar:My wife asks me to stop at the grocery store on my way home. I can do that. While I successfully mke the stop to pick up bread and milk, I subsequently forget to stop at the bank and post office. It’s as if my mind was filled to full capacity and could no longer add anything additional.This problem also began to affect my real estate investing – as I would forget to stop at a tenant’s house, drop off paperwork, or even forget about a leak for weeks. Additionally, I struggled with productivity and how to motivate myself to get things done. Some tasks tend to look so large that it’s easy to get stuck looking at the big picture.I began to actively seek out solutions to my productivity problems and was introduced to David Allen’s book, “Getting Things Done.” It was through this book I began to realize the source of my stress, my forgetfulness, and my lack of productivity.What’s Filling Your Glass?As I mentioned above, my head is like a glass of water – continually spilling over. All that lost information is not only detrimental to my home and business life, but it also adds significant amounts of stress to my life.So what, exactly, is filling that glass?I learned that my glass, or mind, was filled with un-actionable pieces of information – and lots of it. Somewhere in my mind was a reminder that I needed to stop at the bank. Another reminder that my toilet needed to be caulked. Still another that I would need to start planning my next family vacation soon. Hundreds (even thousands) of these thoughts permeate our minds every day.Unactionable information is information for which nothing can be done about right now.