Empty your mind – The inbox method

Do you find yourself having a hard time remembering what you wanted to do?

I hate the feeling that I possibly have forgotten to do something meaningful. But this is exactly what happens when I have too much going on in my head.

Most of us have a lot going on in our lives.

We have work to do, a family life to manage, good friends to see, and other projects that all are fighting for our time.

There are a few people that can manage all the mentioned areas and belonging to-dos in their head.

I’m not one of them. Having too many thoughts running through my head weighs heavy on me.

I want to have a clear mind.

“Our brain is for creating ideas, not storing them!”

Our brains are fantastic. We should use the brainpower the right way.

Create your inbox

The easiest way to declutter our brains is to write everything down. (You didn’t see that magic trick coming, right?)

The key is to have a system in hand where you can put all your thoughts , tasks and ideas without having to worry about if it makes sense or in which folder in your mac you should put it.

This place is called “the inbox“.

As soon as something comes to your mind and you feel that you want to remember it, write it down.

The inbox is the central concept of the “Getting Things Done” framework from David Allen, used by millions of people worldwide.

GTD is a good system to organize yourself – but for most people, using the inbox-system and reviewing it is enough.

On a hectic day, it is easy to lose your mind and forget a thing or two.

Writing it down helps to ease your mind and gives you the possibility to review your ideas later.

Review your inbox

Over a day, the inbox will fill up quickly.

To organize the inbox, you have to review it regularly. Let’s say one or two times a day, depending on how much is going on in your life (and brain).

When you review the inbox, you go through all the inbox items and make one of the three possible decisions.

  1. delete
  2. move it to a project or area of your life (e.x. work) & decide when you want wo work at it
  3. do it now (if it does take less than two minutes)

After the review, your inbox is empty, and your brain is still at ease.

There are a lot of task managers out there. Here is a short list of the one’s I’ve tried and that I can recommend (in no particular order):

If you want to organize your day and calm your mind, the inbox method can be a good companion for your busy life.