When we’re busy, it’s hard to take in and retain all the info

May 19, 2020

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I’d lost the sheet of paper.

Earlier that day, as I’d sat in my office in my Boston law firm, my phone had rung, I’d gone to a partner’s office, and I’d scribbled away as he detailed the issue I needed to research to advise his client.

It was an employment law issue, and, as a 90%-ish patent litigator, the issues kinda flew over my head. I scribbled and scribbled and would make sense of it later.

After our meeting, I dropped my legal pad somewhere in my office and went back to the other work I had on my plate.

Hours later, turning to the employment task, I couldn’t find the legal pad. And I couldn’t remember a single thing about the assignment. Not the underlying facts. Not the issue to research. Nada.

After about 30 minutes of searching with hot cheeks and that adrenaline-panicky feeling, relief flooded me – I’d found it.

And I remember the amazement I felt when reading the paper, no bells went off in my head in recognition. Without that paper, I’d have had no idea what to do.

My brain had just not absorbed any of it.

When we’re pulled in so many directions every day, it’s just hard to take in information and details. Harder still to retain them.

If in the midst of managing the dozens of tasks you have for the day at work, you’re also asking your brain to remember when you need to stop work to take care of the kids, when you need to start cooking dinner, when you’ll get back to that one work task tonight, when you’ll relax (can you even relax tonight?), when you’ll call your mom back, … well, it’s just too much.

It’s not going to work. And it can be overwhelming. And it takes up way too much of your brain space.

If you want some help transitioning from trying to manage it all in your head (perhaps with the help of a sea of to-do lists and post-it notes – which still require a lot of your brain to make it happen), I’m here. I’d love to help.

Let’s get the managing out of your head and into a system that’ll free up your mind – and clear up your stress.

I have an 8-week Bright Method time management program for professional working women. Learn all about it here. Hope to see you in there!

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