My scattered brain

I have to tell ya – my brain is all over the place.  If I could harness all my thoughts and follow them through – what a wondrous accomplishment that would be. But, alas, it is but a jumbled mess and I am trying to decide how best to untangle the web.

I am a producer of clutter.  According to the Law of Attraction, this is a result of the clutter in my brain. So, I do the mental exercises, the positive affirmations, the clear the head before bed…guess what…it’s even more cluttered now!  Now that I concentrate on my goals that I have learned to set, and focus on the good things in life – expansion to the possibilities has opened up.  More stuff in my brain!

The blog should help – get things down, in a category, out of my head.  But it is awfully public.  I love you guys, but I can’t tell you everything.  Maybe it’s time for a journal.  Or maybe I should use the Mind Jet program more – but I am not real sure I am using it to the best of its abilities. Has anybody else used it with any success?

Dwayne Melancon has a great post concerning one of my biggest problems – managing email.  Actually, managing isn’t the problem – it’s not like I get that much. The problem arises from when the little announcer sound goes off to tell me I have new mail and I will stop whatever I am doing to check it. I know – compulsive.  I know – I should not leave it running.  Guess what – it’s still running.

So, then I check the email, check my google reader, and then it’s three hours later.  How does that happen?  j david macor give some great tips for getting this part of my life organized with one flaw – there are too many options.  Just tell me which ones to use!

I think maybe I should resort to a doctor’s office type schedule – you know, the one that is color blocked with certain activities at certain times of the day. Ha!  The title of the blog is Beautiful Chaos.  I am not so sure a highlighter could tame it.

So, there’s my dilemma, and your mission, should you choose to accept it.  Any ideas or things that have worked (or not) for you?


  1. Austin Realtor's Wife says:

    Okay, so I’m too scatter brained to read macor’s tips, so I’ll tell you the key to my organization (other than being OCD)… ready? An egg timer. Lame, but whatever- I actually set my watch for the task at hand. Typical day:

    Hour 1: wake up, shower, dress, coffee, get teen and pre-teen fed and rooms cleaned, make my own bed, do makeup, organize husband’s pocket items (phone, wallet, mont blanc). *DING*

    Hour 2: drive to office, get laptops unpacked, check work email only, check phone messages, mail and faxes, check in on agents. *DING*

    Hours 3: check personal email then blog email, read bloglines and comment as necessary… this is a strict one hour activity that requires a bell or it could take all day. *DING*

    Hours 4-9: various appointments and preparing husband and staff for listing, sales and marketing appointments, vendor coordination and the like. *DING*

    Hour 10: drive home, prepare dinner for family, eat dinner together with family, check personal email and blog email. *DING*

    Hour 11-12: playing with kids, cleaning, laundry, ocd dusting, re-vaccuming, scrubbing baseboards, ironing underwear (seriously), preparing kids for next day. *DING*

    Hour 13-15: Blogging. *DING*

    Hour 15’s end (or hour 16-19): Bedtime. *DING* Now see Hour 1 and start all over.

    Obviously, this is just a small sample of an ideal schedule, but you get my drift- if I don’t hear a bell or a beep, I’ll stay on focus all day. I am meticulous with cleaning, blogging, reading, playing with kids, etc. so it’s hard to get out of what we call “go mode.” Think of an alarm bell as a golden bell and of yourself as Pavlov’s dogs… 🙂

  2. Well, I put little stars next to my favorites! 😉

    But if you are big on Gmail, then you should definitely stick with Google’s Calendar app. The task list program called Remember the Milk also integrates with the Google Calendar, so you can combine those two fantastic products. That’s what I do at least.

  3. I’m not saying it’s for everyone, but I found being addicted to crack simplified all my problems into one larger but ultimately more manageable problem. I.e. “how do I get more crack?”


    I feel your pain April. I know the “where did Tuesday go?” feeling after sitting in front of a computer for a “couple minutes”.

    Let me ask you this though…

    Don’t you want chaos? I can’t help but notice the blog isn’t called “Finding Order”, but “Yay Chaos!” or something similar. I just gaze at your photo then skim read everything. Sorry. 🙂

    (And no I was never addictted to crack)

  4. J David – my apologies – I missed the little stars 🙂 I will go star gazing and check them out. But I have a question for you – I use Outlook for all my email, calendar, tasks, etc. I have no experience with the applications on your list. Would you say that it is more or less functional than the applications you suggested?

    Athol – HA! Very funny and you’ll understand if I don’t try that one. And I do love the life that is mine. I love the very busy and the slightly jumbled. However, I would like to stick to “slightly” and here lately it seems that I am drinking from a fire hydrant – I am excited about the possibility – I just don’t want it to get away from me.

    ARW – Can I abbreviate you that way? You can really do all of that in hours 1 & 10! I am impressed and embarrassed. Your schedule rocks! I think the egg timer is a phenom idea. I have used it for housecleaning (ala Flylady) but never considered it for job tasks.

  5. i used to be a folder guy. i even spent hours reorganising my folder from time to time. i got upset when outlook wouldn’t sort by category. i got upset when outlook 2003’s flags sort in alphabetical order (eg red – yellow – orange) when it should be “heat” (yellow – orange – red) or the rainbow or primary colors first or ANYTHING more meaningful. But I digress. The problem was that outlook made it easy for me to mess around trying to impose order on something that is by nature quite chaotic.

    In the end I switched to gmail. I don’t have any folders, just search. Each day (or each minute!) when I review my inbox, I add the label “todo” on things todo, “follow up” on things to followup and “waiting” on things I need a reply to. Then archive all messages.

    It took me a while to get used to it, but now I can always find that message I am looking for just by searching on some words I can remember about it. All the archived email is searchable just like the web on google.

    My inbox is always empty now, and the todo, followup and waiting labels rarely have more than ten items in them. Plus gmail catches most of the spam. Plus its on the web, plus you can download it to outlook if you want to keep a copy there too.

    Gmail lets me embrace chaos and still find what I am looking for. Hope it helps.

    I found your blog on Christine Kanes… I also won a CD 🙂

  6. Tim – I have heard the gmail suggestion before – maybe it’s time this die hard outlooker checks it out. I must admit I really like the idea of having the search feature.

    Congrats on the CD! Ain’t that exciting!

  7. Tim Graham says:

    April, you could keep using outlook and do the same thing….

    Copy all your email to a single folder called “archive” for example and delete all the folders. Then download google desktop. It plugs into outlook and it gives you the same search features right there in outlook!

    You can have your outlook cake and eat it too.

    If you’d like any help to set it up I am happy to send you some instructions, just let me know via email.


  1. […] try – I really do try.  Lani had an excellent suggestion in time management. I read her schedule with great envy.  So, employ the egg timer technique. Simple genius. With one […]

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