The simple (but powerful) 15-minute ‘mind capture’ ritual

by | Nov 6, 2013 | General Productivity, Meditation/Mindfulness

Takeaway: Every once in a while, sit alone with no distractions and a blank notepad. You’ll be surprised with all you capture.

Estimated Reading Time: 1 minute, 8s.

Every once in a while when I find 15 minutes of quiet time, I shut everything off, my computer and cellphone included, set a timer for 15 minutes, and lay down with a blank notepad and no distractions.

I’m always surprised what I capture.

When I shut everything off, I find that my mind still runs at 10,000 RPM, churning out things like: things I have to do (but haven’t captured), things I’m waiting on, ideas for AYOP, long-term ideas and plans, and a lot more.

Most of the things I capture are valuable and actionable, and I wouldn’t have thought of them otherwise, bouncing around between so many distractions.

Here’s a picture of everything I captured yesterday:


Our minds are often an arcade of thoughts that we don’t get the chance to step back and observe. When we force ourselves to step back for 15 minutes with nothing more than a notepad and a pen, the thoughts bouncing around in our minds have no choice but to defragment and organize themselves while the best ones bubble to the surface.

Next time you have a spare 15 minutes (or even if you don’t), try shutting everything off and laying down with only a notepad. You’ll be surprised at what bubbles up.

Written by Chris Bailey

Chris Bailey has written hundreds of articles on the subject of productivity and is the author of three books: How to Calm Your Mind, Hyperfocus, and The Productivity Project. His books have been published in more than 40 languages. Chris writes about productivity on this site and speaks to organizations around the globe on how they can become more productive without hating the process.

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