Issue #21, Volume 1
September 8, 2021
I know someone who carries more than 70 years worth of heavy emotional baggage around with him all the time. Slights he suffered, wrongs that were done to him, misunderstandings, poor decisions. . . he never lets go of anything.
Being around someone like that is exhausting, and I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be inside his head. Eventually all that emotional baggage takes a physical toll.
Some people can’t sleep because their minds are racing, racing, racing all the time. They can’t seem to let go of all the things they need to do tomorrow, discussions they keep replaying, etc.
In the last newsletter, we talked about getting rid of physical baggage so it’s easier to work from anywhere. Sometimes the load we need to lighten is mental, because a mind that’s not weighed down with baggage functions a whole lot better than one that’s bogged down with stuff.
To help the man in the first scenario, Tiny Buddha recommends a five-step process to get rid of the emotional baggage.
And for the second scenario, I use a simple technique that works really well.
Before you go to bed — but not while you’re in bed — do a brain dump. Write down everything you need to do tomorrow.
By doing that, you’re sending a message to that hamster in your brain that the information is safe so it’s okay to relax.
Some people do their writing old school, with pencil and paper. Others use note-taking apps or other digital tools.
I’ve taken it a step further. I no longer need to do the late-night brain dump, because I do it constantly throughout the day.
I use Trello, a tool I often talk about. It’s visual, which I like. You can create a board for any topic, and each board contains lists with cards on them.
You can add descriptions, labels, and checklists to each card. You can also attach files and images.
Some of my Trello boards are personal, and some are for business. So whatever my to-do, it has a place on Trello.
Add to the grocery list? Check. Make a note of a client call or email coming up? Check. Jot down ideas and references for an upcoming newsletter? Check.
Whatever the task, it goes into Trello as soon as I think of it.
Because Trello has an app for my phone, it’s easy to add items on the fly.
Since I’ve been dumping all these to-dos throughout the day, when bedtime rolls around my mind is clear and calm, and I rarely have trouble falling asleep.
Trello’s just restructured their pricing. The good news is, there’s still a free level that’s great to start with, but you may need more than that.
Would you like to learn more from me about using Trello as a freelancer, blogger, solopreneur, or business owner? Just hit reply to this email and let me know!
Tips & Tools
If anxiety, rather than the hamster wheel of stray thoughts, keeps you awake, there’s another mental load-lightening technique to try.
Similar to the to-do brain dump above, schedule a worry dump every day.
At a set time every day — not at bedtime — schedule a specific amount of time, say 10 minutes, to dump out all your worries. Choosing a time at the end of your working day to dump this type of emotional baggage seems to work well.
While the author of this article includes regular to-dos in his deliberate worry session, I’m not sure that’s necessary.
In any case, start with what he calls a “brain barf.” Write down everything — he recommends using pencil and paper for this — and do it quickly. Don’t elaborate, just list.
Then look over your list and highlight actionable problems.
“What if the stock market crashes and I lose all my retirement and end up homeless?” is hypothetical. An actionable worry would be something like the email you forgot to send.
Then, for each actionable item, write down the next smallest action to resolve it. If signing up your daughter for soccer tomorrow is the actionable item, your next smallest action might be to look up the phone number for the league during your lunch break tomorrow.
The final step is to set a reminder for each action. Put it on your calendar, or in your task manager (or both — hello, Trello!).
That’s it! Now you can relax!
Many US small towns have realized that knowledge workers can add a lot to the community, and some are even offering incentives for remote workers and digital nomads to relocate.
Morgantown, WV offers a package of cash incentives and gifts valued at up to $20,000 for remote workers who want to move there.
Love New England? Montpelier, VT and Augusta, ME are both offering packages around $15,000.
Other communities in the midwest, southeast, and southwest are coming up with offers.
You’ll find more specific communities and offers here.
If a new life overseas is what you’re looking for, you can add Sri Lanka to the ever-growing list of countries offering a digital nomad visa.
Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. That means, if you click and purchase, you pay exactly the same amount and I’ll earn a small commission. These fees help me to keep the free information flowing.
In Case You Missed It. . .
Living an Anywhereist lifestyle can be complicated. Especially if your income is from a location-independent business.
Here are five of my favorite tools for keeping my life and my business organized and on track.
Using them helps me reduce stress and leave me more time to actually enjoy my life.
All of them are available for Windows, iOS, and Android so you can use them on your computer, phone, tablet, or any combination of devices.
#1 Trello, for Business and Life
Trello is a visual, kanban-based project management system. Think of it as an organized version of an old-fashioned bulletin board.
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