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Thoughts Time Blocks
Today, I am introducing you to the concept of Mind Time Blocks, which I might refer to as well from time to time as Thoughts Time Blocks.
The concept is simple, but practicing it is extremely powerful (and important)
For context, I started designing these MTBs as I struggled with sleep. I had always considered myself an "insomniac," and it became part of my identity. It's not - not sleeping is NOT natural. You NEED to sleep.
(If you are struggling to sleep, let me know, and I will send you some tips and resources.)
I was able to heal this "sleep disease" through different techniques, one of which is the most efficient one, not only for myself but also for clients in my 1 on 1 coaching that also have struggled with sleep.
The concept is simple, but as with all powerful things, it will take time to master that skill, so be patient. Think of it as directly applying what we do when we meditate. Meditating daily, preferably twice daily, will help you train your mind and make that technique easier.
It can be applied for sleep, stress, focus, peak performance, deep presence with loved ones, and anywhere you wish. Also, it is free to use and has no unwanted side effects 🙂
Here is the thought behind the process: when I ask my clients why they can't sleep, even when they are exhausted, most answer without hesitation: "I cannot stop thinking."
After some consultation, we figured that it is not because they are overthinking that they cannot sleep, but rather because they are thinking about things that simulate their emotional or intellectual response. For example, suppose you are continuously going down rabbit holes in your mind or trying to solve the world's biggest problems (especially when you start thinking that you might have a solution!). In that case, you will surely never fall asleep.
Come in the MTBs.
If you are an iOS / Mac/apple user, you might have seen the new functionality on focus automations. If you are not, here is what they are briefly:
You can set it on your devices when certain apps can be used and others will be hidden. Recently, they have also introduced filters, which I use A LOT. That means that during a specific time, you can choose what calendar you can see or what inbox (work, for example) is hidden during certain times.
More on that in another message.
The MTBs work in a similar fashion. You can choose what you are allowing yourself to think about during specific times (or days). When you find yourself thinking about a topic that is "forbidden" (that's a harsh word), you go back gently to a topic you are allowed to think about. Sounds familiar? If you have ever done one of my guided meditations, it should sound SUPER familiar because this is exactly what we practice. We focus our attention on a sound (or word, phrase or mantra, or our breath), and when we find ourselves lost in thoughts, we catch ourselves and go back to the anchor. An anchor is like on a boat: it helps us avoid our minds drifting away in a wild ocean of uncontrollable thoughts.
What you think about and when you think about is up to you. I have set a few "algorithms" in my mind. For example, I only think about work within a time block. When I am with my kids, I practice full presence, so if a work thought comes, I tell it: "not now. Come back later. I am with my kids."
Yes, if it is super duper important and you are scared to forget, you can take a quick note to check later (during your work mind time block). Still, with time and practice (consistent practice), your work ideas will come during your work time, your creative ideas will come when you allow space to be within, and so on.
Last point here - for the MTBs to be more accessible, you must prepare for them. We will talk about this later (MTB prompts, trigger, and kryptonite)
For now, try it out. Here is your homework for today:
Write down a structure for your typical day, or take your already-made schedule or calendar. Then, during each item, write an MTB. What are you allowing yourself to think about during that event, during that task?
Tap reply and let me know how it goes.
I'm considering creating a three weeks crash course on the subject. However, I would like it to be in a small group, so if you are interested in participating, let me know, and I will put you on the list. If there are too many of you, we will do multiple small groups.
LOVE + Soul HUGS
Your friend & guide