Quiet the mind so you can win
The coolest masculine heroes are always in control.
Steady on a path. Unwavering and clear-headed.
There are exceptions…
…but for the most part, the men we want to be, have their shit together.
If you’re suffering from an over-analytical mind, you know just how limiting it can be.
A million thoughts a minute.
You’re always going to struggle to get shit done until you master your grey matter.
It’s time to:
1. Get Your Bearings Straight
A key step in calming mind chatter is to realize that it’s all been done before.
You’re not unique or rare.
Everything you’ve done and will do has been done by someone living or dead.
And that’s a great thing!
You’re not reinventing the wheel.
Whether you’re working on a report, sales script, or developing a product… anything you’re trying to achieve has a blueprint somewhere.
An over-active mind can often lead to an, “I can figure this out on my own” syndrome.
Don’t let it — not if you want to put any real work on the wood.
Look at how others in your industry are performing, get a baseline for what’s working, and just do that — no more, no less (to start).
If you want to cut deeper through the brain buzz, sometimes you have to…
2. Get a 2nd Opinion
Sometimes focusing the mind requires a personal touch.
Similar to surveying your industry, use a friend, colleague, or mentor to help you figure it out.
Getting a second opinion will help you avoid all the bullshit that can tie up your M.E.A.T. (money, energy, attention, time).
And highly productive people are masters of their meat.
Just make sure the guy or gal you’re bouncing your work off of knows what they’re talking about — the blind leading the blind…
3. A/B Test
The market knows best.
And if you’re fortunate to be in a position where two things are true…
- The cost of creating your work is inexpensive.
- Feedback on your work is quick.
… you can eliminate the guessing game.
For example, does your audience respond to the T-shirt design with your brand’s logo and a quote or just the logo?
Doing both at the same time and seeing which one hits, or trying one solution followed by another, are great market testing strategies that help you get on the right track.
A/B testing ultimately requires more upfront investment — producing different versions of the same work — but on the back-end, it removes any confusion.
And that allows you to concentrate on what works and accelerate your success.
4. Start Dumb, End Smart
One of the hardest things for over-analyzers to do is just go with the flow.
Sometimes you’re just doing too much.
Stop “outthinking the room” and
Easy to say. But sometimes the only way around is through.
Here’s how to get work done in 3 steps:
- Take a deep breath.
- Acknowledge that, “Yeah, I am half-assing this right now and that’s okay.“
- Grab your nuts and brute force it.
Get your work to passable — it doesn’t have to be its final form.
Brains like yours are great at researching, analyzing, crossing T’s, dotting I’s — autism on overdrive…
You can always pretty it up later.
5. Limits Mean Breakthroughs
If you’ve ever had the experience of leaving your high school report to the day before, and then magically finishing it in one brilliant sit-down session…
Congratulations, you’ve just acquired the limit break(er)!
Studies have shown that people under pressure start producing hormones that help them focus — when you’re being hunted by a lion, there’s no room for mind chatter.
Weaponize this phenomenon.
Handicap yourself by putting a time limit on production and hold yourself accountable by promising a friend or your boss that you’re going to deliver.
To break out of a limit, a limit has to first exist.
6. The Holy Grail of Calm
The best thing you can do for calming an over-active mind is to start meditating.
You won’t get the benefits immediately but over time you’ll achieve more mental clarity.
Meditation for focus and awareness trains your mind (and body) to be okay with existing in the moment — eliminating the restless leg, arm, and everything syndrome that gets in the way of finishing work.
And the best time to start is now.
It takes, at minimum, 12 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for 4 weeks to start seeing the payoff.
Go check out headspace for tutorials on how to get started.
Treat meditation like going to the gym. Go lift some weights.
Most successful people aren’t the smartest people in the room —
They’re just the ones who’ve learned the power of the start-finish-fail strategy.
As an over-analyzer, use these tips to dial back, unfreeze yourself, and plug into that start-finish-fail pipeline for success.
Best piece of advice I can leave you with:
Stop trying to do what works, and just do what works.
Return to monke, gentlemen.