Friday - - Self-Help -

The most ef­fec­tive way of junk­ing un­nec­es­sary thoughts is to go through the ‘to do’ items in your brain – and sim­ply get rid of them.

That’s what Am­s­ter­dam-based pro­duc­tiv­ity con­sul­tant David Allen rec­om­mends.

“The prin­ci­ple is very sim­ple,” he says. “It’s ba­si­cally ask­ing your­self: ‘What do I need to do to get this stuff off my mind so I don’t have to worry about it un­til the ap­pro­pri­ate time?’

“The most ef­fec­tive way is to just go ahead and do (the job you’re think­ing about) but, clearly, that’s not al­ways prac­ti­cal. You can’t plan a pre­sen­ta­tion you need to wow your boss with at 2am when you sud­denly start think­ing about it. Same as you can’t call your mother at that time.

“So, you need to cheat. You need to get that guy out of your brain so you can go to sleep, and you need to put it in a place that will al­low you to think about it when the time’s right.”

He says the best way to do that is by sim­ply writ­ing down ev­ery ‘to do’ thought – even if it’s some­thing as sim­ple as wa­ter­ing the plants – in the ap­pro­pri­ate space of a di­ary, un­til none are left in your head. Then you’ll be able to fi­nally re­lax.

The fact his book, Get­ting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Pro­duc­tiv­ity , has sold 100,000 copies and David him­self has been named one of the top five ex­ec­u­tive coaches in the US by Forbes mag­a­zine sug­gests there is some­thing in the con­cept.

And added to­gether with the other tech­niques de­scribed, it could all form part of a vig­or­ous drain­ing of the brain, leav­ing your mind clear of pol­lu­tants.

If you com­bine that with a good body detox, 2015 might just turn out to be­come your health­i­est and most pro­duc­tive year to date.

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