Brainstorming

I was reading through Getting Things Done the other day and found a couple of interesting connections.

In the Mind Like Water post, I saw that GTD’s focus on the next physical action is very similar to being mindful of your physical environment and your senses. It helps you remove worries and insecurities that fill your head. If you focus on actions or your senses, you get out of your mind. Getting out of your mind also shows up when the author talks about brainstorming.

“Few people can hold their focus on a topic for more than a couple of minutes, without some objective structure and tool or trigger to help them. Pick a big project you have going right now and just try to think of nothing else for more than sixty seconds. This is pretty hard to do unless you have a pen and paper in hand and use those ‘cognitive artifacts’ as the anchor for your ideas. Then you can stay with it for hours.”

You can’t think about a topic for a long period of time without your mind wandering off to random topics. Writing your thoughts down anchors your mind. It brings you back to reality. Not only is there a connection to the previously mentioned “next action”, this seems connected to bringing your mind back to your breath.

David Allen also says that brainstorming requires you to not “judge, challenge, evaluate, or criticize” your ideas. I have talked before about objectivity being a common aspect of both science and mindfulness. With brainstorming, being non-judgmental lets you explore all your ideas. You can write everything that comes to mind and then cut out the bad ideas later. But, according to the author, you will find ideas that you did not know that you had if you just let it all out.

I don’t know. I could be just making connections because I am looking for them. But things seem like they are fitting together.

Leave a comment