Tools & Tips

How to free up mind space and prioritise career actions

February 1, 2020

Wouldn’t it be great if we could spend our time generating ideas and inspiration to fuel us towards the next exciting career milestone?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could spend our time generating ideas and inspiration to fuel us towards the next exciting career milestone?

Unfortunately, we often end up battling everyday tasks and chores on our ToDo lists, while our head gets overwhelmed with a confusing array of untested ideas about what would make our lives better. What you need is a simple, visual way to track ideas, thoughts and actions with a certain level of mental clarity.

Our minds get constantly filled with clutter! And the ringleader / hoarder extraordinaire is our inner voice. Constantly talking, talking, talking!

“..eggs, spinach, bread…”

“You shouldn’t be wearing this!”

"he didn't message back yet, does he hate me??"

The human brain is said to use about 20% of your body’s total energy throughout the day, and I can only imagine how much of that is taken up by clutter brain. Like when your computer has too many open applications.

Clearing the clutter in your mind is an important first step in allowing you to get unstuck in career or work challenges.

Introducing the Magic Future Board (MFB), a lo-fi tool used during the Visioning process of a Life Sprint to download ideas and free up mindspace for new possibilities to emerge.

A simple way to capture, act and monitor these ideas or thoughts is to write them down on paper or take notes on your phone. The MFB makes this process of capturing and documenting more intentional. You can call it a curated to-do list on a timeline looking ahead at the near future of your career pathway. You can use it to prompt questions like - where am I on this journey now? What directions can I take? What do I want to achieve in the short-term? What would I be proud of in the long-term?

Step by step guide:

1.Pick a corner or wall in your office/home. Start by using tape to create a large “plus” sign or a 2x2 matrix.

Tip:Go for black tape it looks way cooler on a white wall!

2.Use sticky notes to mark the ends - short term vs. long term on the horizontal; pragmatic vs. magic will happen on the vertical.

3.Set a timer for 15mins and a Do-not-disturb sign if you’re in an environment where you might be interrupted.

4.Start where you are. Write down all the future actions, activities and outcomes relevant to your career that would make your life better on individual sticky-notes

Tip: try to focus on actions not emotions

5.Place the sticky-notes in the relevant quadrants of the matrix. Pragmatic short term action could be something simple like asking for a raise, and a magic-will-happen-style long term action might be starting your own business, or writing a book

Post-it from a real MFB!

6.Take a few minutes to reflect on all the sticky-notes and think about how each idea/action makes you feel.

7.Breathe! Feel good about having made your own Magic Future Board. Now, pick just 1 action, goal or activity and try to focus on! The rest aren’t going anywhere, believe us! But let’s tackle them one at a time.

Try to plan regular check-ins (weekly/monthly/quarterly) with yourself or a trusted mentor to track your progress towards the goal. Remember to keep the action or goal small if you want to maximize the chances of success, and be compassionate to yourself. This should be fun, not another chore!

Tip: If your goal isn’t achievable in a few weeks, reframe it so that it is!

Try it out and share a picture of your own MFB! The MFB is an integral tool of the virtual Life Sprint process. Here’s a look at what Odin the Seal’s Magic Future Board looks like on our digital Life Sprint canvas:

We have a dream at Life Sprint. We want to help a million people get unstuck from their career challenges in double quick time. Over one hundred Life Sprinters have managed to get unstuck by creating something they’ve always wanted to. If you join a Life Sprint in December or January, then set and achieve your goal within four weeks, we’ll give you back €50!

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