What is a Mind Sweep?
Of all the many concepts taught in the “productivity book to end all productivity books”, Getting Things Done™ by David Allen, the one which sticks in my mind the most is that of the “Mind Sweep”. It’s a wonderfully simple technique for “sweeping” through your whole life, getting all the “stuff” that needs doing out of your head and into your organisation system.
Dispelling Those Lurking Niggles
I’m sure you’ll know exactly the kind of stuff I’m talking about - stuff that lurks at the back of your mind, waking you suddenly in the middle of the night. It’s the stuff that jumps out at you when you innocently pass by. It’s the stuff which constantly reminds you how bad a person you are for not having done it, or even started it yet! It’s the email you should reply to or the blog post you really should write.
The worst thing is, every single one of these little lurking niggles adds a tiny bit more to your daily stress. You try to ignore them, but you know you can’t.
But what you can do is use the Mind Sweep technique to get it all out of your head and into your system. Then you’ll feel like you’re back in control.
The Power of My First MindSweep
I still remember now how powerful my first Mind Sweep was. One sunny Sunday afternoon, about 15 years ago, my wife and I grabbed a little block of sticky notes, a pen and a shoebox and visited every room in the house, scanning for things which needed action. Every time one of us noticed something that needed doing, we wrote a few words about it on a note, tore the note off and threw it in the box. For things which needed more than just a few words, we took a photo of it using our digital camera (they were relatively new back then, and our phones didn’t have decent cameras or screens). We were busy most of the afternoon, but it didn’t seem to take long, and once we’d finished we had only two places we needed to look to decide what to do next – the camera and the shoebox.
Only the Beginning
The Mind Sweep itself is only the start, but it’s a great start! From there you need to sit down and go through everything, deciding a note at a time what to do about it. That’s another story, but just getting it out of your mind gives you the feeling that a huge amount of stress has been lifted from your shoulders. It felt to me personally like I was free from all the doubts in my life and back in control.
Using the InTray App for Mind Sweeping
So that’s where the design of the InTray app came about. It’s designed to be a Mind Sweep tool, as quick and simple to use as a note block and camera, but better because you have everything in a single place that you trust. And because it’s an app, you carry it with you so you’re ready to add to it at any time. It’s also got lots of added features for extra convenience, like a voice memo tool and speech-to-text recognition. And once it’s in there, your stuff can be filtered and sorted so you don’t have to spend hours going through it like we had to do all that time ago.
It’s so easy to get that feeling of being back in control. Download the InTray app now for free and use it for a Mind Sweep. And the next time you’re woken in the night by a thought you really mustn’t forget, reach for the InTray App, press the button and put it down. You’ll be back asleep in no time.
If you haven’t tried it yet, you really should.