Your Mind Deserves A Promotion

You really don't have any excuses to be having thoughts more than once -- unless you just like having those thoughts.
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I'm often identified by my description of a relaxed state of control as "mind like water" (refer to my logo!). This is not an empty mind, though. It's rather one that is operating at a more productive and creative level.

My experience is that you should be using your mental energies to be thinking about things rather than thinking of them.

You really don't have any excuses to be having thoughts more than once -- unless you just like having those thoughts. Most people badger themselves incessantly with the same things over and over. They do this mainly because they do not take the responsibility to capture, clarify, objectify, and review those ideas, commitments, ought-to's, might wanna's, and so on, sufficiently to renegotiate their agreements with themselves, and to give their mind a trustworthy system to support its creative process.

You can't fool your mind. It knows whether you've put its creation into an objective, seamless container and process that can be trusted to use that thought in the way it was intended. Let's say you told yourself, "I need to call Fred." But you didn't write that somewhere that your mind knows you will look when you are at a phone and could possibly make that call. Your mind will not relinquish the task of reminding you.

If you have a great idea about how to train your salespeople about a critical new product feature, and you don't put that somewhere you know you'll look when you're designing their seminar, your mind will take on the job of trying to ensure it will still happen. The problem is, your mind (like many taskmasters I've known) doesn't really have much of a plan about how to make sure the phone call gets done, so it wakes you up at 3am with the reminder!

It's a strange phenomenon in professional development: when a person is tasked to do activities that are really beneath their talent and appropriate skill level, they will usually screw up royally! The same is true of your mind.

Until you have installed sufficient idea-capturing and idea-processing tools and procedures, and the habits to use them effectively, your mind will be burdened with a job beneath its rank -- something it dislikes and doesn't do very well. I suggest you do some appropriate organization development, so you can give your mind the promotion it deserves.


You can find out more about David Allen and GTD at

The David Allen Company is a professional training, coaching, and management consulting organization, based in Ojai, California. Its purpose is to enhance performance and improve the quality of life by providing the world's best information, education, and products in the fields of personal productivity and work/life balance.

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