States of Mind and Task Planning

How can we think about the relationship between states of mind (moods, energy levels, focus, etcetera) and task planning? All of us are aware that there are times when we are able to be very effective with certain tasks, and other times when it is practically impossible to complete a certain kind of project.

This is not entirely a random process. If you think about it you will realize that most of us experience regular shifts in attention, focus, energy and mood across the day.

Then there are periods of time when we may be more energetic and creative, and other times when making big plans seems inconceivable.

One of my patients motivated me to write this post, which is definitely a work in progress, when he told me about how much value he had found in scheduling certain kinds of tasks at particular times of day.

For example, many people report that they feel more optimistic early in the morning, but this optimism is often wasted when we start the day opening our email account…. Which tends to move us into a hectic, hurried state of mind.

To get you thinking about how you might do this I have created a picture with some labels for states of mind and a few thoughts about tasks that might be more appropriate for any given state.

The missing piece in this, is connecting states of mind to times of day (for daily time planning).

States of Mind and Task Planning

For More Information

Getting Where You Want to Go: Remembering Priorities and Problem-Solving

Boost Creativity by Walking