Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategy

A tip for anyone feeling overwhelmed


Information overload is a pretty popular term these days. The firehose of information never stops.

I tried something new yesterday to help me get focused and it worked!

I have been feeling a little overwhelmed. Balancing time is a tricky thing, it’s something we all struggle with. Anyone who says they manage their time perfectly is full of it.

Running my own business adds an additional level of stress to my tricky balancing act. Yet, I push through, making sure that my client work is never effected by my head spinning in circles.

I have written before about finding white space. I have tried to drive in silence, with no podcasts, radio, or music to distract my thoughts. The silence does work, it’s actually quite good for you. Yesterday¬†I tried something new. I talked to myself and recorded it.

Record your thoughts

Talking to yourself is certainly a great way to work through your thoughts, I’ve done this before. The trouble is that once I get to my destination my thoughts have gone right out of the window.

I spent thirty minutes today recording my thoughts. I talked about several projects I am working on, and I came up with solutions to help get me better focused. The next step is important.

During my lunch I replayed my recorded audio. With a pen and paper, I made notes from every point I made. Now I have a written action plan I can carry out. I am way more focused and excited about the work ahead.

How do you get focused? Please leave a comment with your tips.

Image by Eoin Duffy


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  • Mcrecraft

    I used to do that a long time ago. The problem was I wouldn’t always follow up. The best way I found to do it recently was to record it in Evernote, then when listening back, just add the written points back into the same note so I could reference the audio again if I had to. Now that you mention it, I should probably start practicing this again. Great post!

  • Thanks. It’s a great idea to use Evernote.
    I’m tempted to delete the audio after pulling my notes from it.

    You’re right though. The most important thing is to do the work.

  • Lora Stevenson

    Part of my sanity plan is to put myself in a routine of recording notes with Siri’s help throughout the day. I still keep detailed hand-written notes from some interviews or experiences. The routine part is that I make myself sit down once a week (for me, Friday night–I know, sexy) and review my notes, delete some, put others in Evernote, and then I grab the work that is resonating for me and concentrate on writing with it over a weekend. As a writer, a lot of times I think I’m doing what Faulkner called working out the chaffe (the daily pick up stuff, whining, news…the crap), to get to the things that are really meaningful.¬†

  • It sounds like a great process Lora. As long as it is simple enough, it will work.

    I find the trouble with so many GTD (Get Things Done) apps and programs, is that they end up taking too much time.

    I have been guilty of using GTD apps as ways to procrastinate. How terrible is that? :)

  • Andrew Duthie

    I think any time spent thinking about the day and what you really want to do with your time is good. The trick (for me, if not for most) is forcing myself to stop and spend that time thinking. Turns out it applies equally to the president of a creative services firm and the owner/mechanic of a year-old motorcycle repair shop.

  • Ha! Yes, it does. It should apply to everyone.

    In my 30 minute commute I was able to record the audio in my car. With headphones on at lunch, I was able to transcribe my thoughts.

    I think it’s a matter of not just finding the time, but making the time. We should be automatically reminded as we watch silly YouTube videos or mindless television.

  • Andrew Duthie

    I’d say it’s 99% making the time, less so finding it. Automatic reminders sound good. With maybe a little electric shock if you hit “snooze” more than once.

  • The thought of a shocking device actually crossed my mind too. :)

  • I find serenity at the range. I enjoy long range marksmanship. I don’t hunt. It’s not even practical for home defense. It’s just a very difficult hobby… and dangerous. It requires and commands total attention. I forget the world and focus on the task at hand – safety, target acquisition, alignment and then measurement of results. When it is over my mind is fully cleared and it is in that moment that whatever thought that comes into your head will be the clearest and least distracted. The ride home is usually full of deep thinking. Not as useful everyday as your method, but it is what works for me no matter how troubled I am.

  • I can imagine you would really have to be in the moment to focus on your target.
    Maybe you should try to record your thoughts after you have finished, when your head is still clear.

    I would avoid talking to yourself until after you have left the range though. :)

  • Great post, Dave.

    I constantly fall back to what I learned working for Dave Ramsey. We all called it “Steak Sauce!” Prioritizing your todo list into the four quadrants and giving them an A, B or C rating. Whatever was A1 on the list was the next thing to focus on. Ramsey mentions “back to the list” a lot in EntreLeadership because it really works. Whenever I start to flounder a bit, I always go back to my list. I’m currently using Wunderlist though I’ve tried and liked many others such as TuexDuex.

    As a programmer, I also have Redmine full of hundreds of software tickets to close. There’s always plenty to keep me focused.

  • Thanks Luke. I love the Steak Sauce analogy.