Load, Relax, Capture

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Ever met someone who seemed to have it all together? Life just seems “easier” for her; she always has great ideas, doesn’t forget things and is very productive? How does she do it?

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Many creative and efficient people have discovered the benefits of what The Seana Method calls “Load, Relax, Capture.” This is a life strategy for receiving, processing and building on the prolific information we interact with daily.  By embracing this strategy, individuals are able to function effectively in what can frequently be an overwhelmingly complex environment. Here is how it works:

LOAD: This is probably what we deal with most as busy professionals. Every day we are bombarded with images, opinions, tasks, questions, and more. Loading means finding a way to ingest all of this information. Efficient loading requires that we triage what comes at us into categories:

  • Dismiss (trash the email, disregard the comment, pitch the catalog, etc.)
  • Attack (immediately tackling any item we can “deal with” in under 5 minutes)
  • Stage (any information we need to respond to/act on requiring scheduling to complete)
  • Hold (information we find interesting, don’t necessarily need to respond to, but want to keep around for future reference)

RELAX: Here is the step we often undervalue. If a problem comes into our lives, we often rush to solve it. Sometimes, this is necessary and effective, but often we would benefit by holding off and giving ourselves time to reflect and problem solve. In our fast-paced world, we’ve lost the art of “chewing on it” and instead rush to put the fire out. Interestingly, we often get our best ideas when we are not trying to think up solutions. Have you ever remembered a name out of the blue that you couldn’t retrieve in the moment? Relaxing gives our brains time to process new stimuli, connect seemingly disparate facts and innovate. Walking, taking a nap, listening to music… all of these create space in our minds into which ideas can flow.

CAPTURE: To benefit from the ideas percolating out of our relax time, we need to be ready to capture ideas as they come. This could be as simple as a tiny notebook in a pocket or as high tech as an electronic list on a smartphone. The key here is to write down any ideas/solutions/etc. exactly when we think of them.  We don’t need to act on them at this time, because now they go back into the LOAD step. The key is simply to grab the good ideas we have so that we can have access to them later.

All three aspects of this system need to be in place for the benefit to be experienced. If balancing the stress of life, work and family have left you feeling unproductive or stressed out, think about how you can work “Load, Relax Capture” into your daily life.

Submitted by Seana Turner, founder and President of The Seana Method, “Freedom Through Organization”