Over the past few years, I have tried to come up with a process to help me think. I know we think all the time and that it never stops, but I am talking about the kinds of thinking when you choose a point to base the thought on – when you want to comprehend, imagine, summarise, or consider something, to say the least.
My process comprises of the following elements:
- Time: I set a limit on the amount of time I spend on a particular thought. This is quite difficult because the more you want to stop thinking about something, you do it anyways.
- Place: To solve the time riddle, I choose a place to think. I have a list of places assigned for thinking, mostly while I’m doing some other activity simultaneously. Some of them include my bike (when I am riding it, of course), the shower, the terrace, my bed (right before I fall asleep) and the gym.
- Thoughts: The most important element in a thought process, obviously, but I place them third on my list so that I know where to send them. Once I have the time and place in mind, I assign slots to the thoughts. I think a particular thought in a designated time and place. It’s kind of like handing out appointments. This takes practice, but it’s possible.
- Filter: Thoughts come at you suddenly and you may not always catch them all. So, by the time you get around to processing them, a lot of filtering has already taken place by way of your inability to retain those thoughts. The ones that you do have remaining are not all important. Filtering is personal and it can be done in many ways – sort them as the thoughts come to you, write them down, choose what to think about or you can save some for later. Thoughts can be random, creative, worrisome, epiphanies, questions or answers, so find different filters that work for each.
- Spend or Save: Now that you have a collection of thoughts, you can choose to utilise them, if they were ideas, solutions or answers or you can choose to save them for later, if they are questions, plans, projections or solutions to probable problems. They are your thoughts and you get to take that call.
The order of this process changes based on the frequency or the speed at which the thoughts arise, but the components are constant. This process eliminates over-thinking or an over-flow of thoughts and allows me to take a step back, which usually isn’t my strong suit.
What’s your process, Dreamers?
Reader. Learner. Dreamer.
I am all about the little things in life!