Making Life Easier, with NLP Chunking!

You know, in psychology there is a rule, especially within the NLP circles that I work in and the literature that I read, it is quite a famous rule; 7 plus or minus 2 ? this is the notion that the conscious mind can only keep track of between 5 and 9 discrete pieces of information at one time. Your unconscious can literally keep track of billions and billions of things at the same time aparently (clever thing that it is!), while your conscious mind is more one step at a time and it has a fairly narrow focus. WHatever the truth of this, it is a useful way to expereince your own thinking.

Here are a couple of things that you can do to test the extent of your conscious mind: Without writing them down, blurt out now, straight away without thought;

- As many brands of cars as you can.

- As many film titles as you can.

- As many pop groups as you can.

Many people run out of steam when they get to ten, usuallly because of the 7+-2 rule. The bottom line is, when the conscious mind is presented with more than 9 pieces of information, it gets overloaded. So before you send me a very clever email telling me off for pointing out the limits of the conscious mind, would you like to know how you can use this to your advantage? Of course you would.

When you bear the 7+-2 rule in mind, you can start to organise things so that you work with your conscious mind, playing to its strengths. For instance, if you have a to-do list.

Many people that I have encountered have a daily to-do list with 20 or more items on it. This is a recipe for total overwhelm (at which point they often resort to looking for the easiest or funnest thing on the list to do.) The following ideas can help you get a handle on your to-do list really fast, especially if that list has things that are important for your goals and achievements and sense of well-being.

Firstly, scan through the list, looking for items that can be grouped together into categories.

For example, here is a load of the stuff on my list for this week:

Write Adam Up.

Bank cheques.

Finish writing chapter for new book

Prepare for client therapy sessions.

Finish project on public speaking.

Finish marketing material for new courses.

FInish listening to current educational Audio set.

Read through solicitors material regarding other business project.

Write up script for new audio title.

Send out follow-up letters for last weeks clients.

Prepare for photo shoot for new Bio.

Write up blurb for my new Audio release.

Write new web-page copy.

Review new CD covers

Meet PR people

Do proposal for new book for Publishers.

Read e-book

New course blurb

Meet with prospective business artner for new project.

Clear inbox.

Have a life. Have fun......

The first thing on the list is 'Write Adam Up' ? for me, "Adam Up" is one of my products, so I write 'Product' beside it. Next is 'Bank Cheques' ? that's part of our cashflow system, so I write 'Systems' beside it. Pretty soon, every item on my list is in a category:

Write Adam Up.

Bank cheques.

Finish writing chapter for new book

Prepare for client therapy sessions.

Finish project on public speaking.

Finish marketing material for new courses.

Finish listening to current educational Audio set.

Read through solicitors material regarding other business project.

Write up script for new audio title: Products.

Send out follow-up letters for last weeks clients: Systems.

Prepare for photo shoot for new Bio: Marketing.

Write up blurb for my new Audio release: Marketing.

Write new web-page copy: Marketing.

Review new CD covers: Systems

Meet PR people: People.

Do proposal for new book for Publishers: People.

Read e-book: Personal.

New course blurb: Marketing.

Meet with prospective business artner for new project: People.

Clear inbox: Personal.

Have a life. Have fun: Personal.

This is better! I have now gone from a list of 20 or so items (instant overwhelm) to a list of 6 categories which is well within even my 7+-2 limit.

- Products

- Systems

- Training

- Marketing

- People

- Personal

This is what we refer to as chunking in my professional field, and is one of the most effective ways of dealing with any large or complex set of tasks (or set of anything else). You may say "Great, but I've got 200 things on my to-do list". It doesn't matter ? the same principles apply. If you go through your to-do list or your goals lists; just get it whittled down from 200 items to 20 categories, that is better, it is getting it more manageable ? go through the 20 categories and see where they group together. Group together goals for your own development; being a non-smoker, growing in confidence, creating wealth, reducing weight etc. The key is to have no more than 9 categories at each level ? this way your conscious mind can keep track of it.

Secondly, start to manage your to-do list by the high-level categories: You can use this in all sorts of areas to make things more manageable, for example:

- To-do lists.

- Goals you are working toward.

- The filing system on your computer.

- Your filing cabinet.

- Any project you're doing.

One of the things this allows you to do is notice very quickly if there's a specific area where you have not been taking much action lately ? very useful for helping focus on what needs attention.

Copyright 2005 Adam Eason. All Rights Reserved.

Adam Eason is an author, consultant, trainer and motivational speaker in the fields of hypnosis, NLP, personal development and human potential. His website is filled with information, stimulating articles, resources and uniques products.

Visit to also receive a free, unique hypnosis session, instantly downloadable, to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

In The News:

Organizing for Equity in Oakland Schools  California Teachers Association

Get Organised and Transform Your Life

It takes effort to get results, and not just any... Read More

Getting Things Done: A Guide To Next-Action Lists

Getting Things Done (GTD), is a productivity methodology designed by... Read More

Four Easy Steps to An Organized Closet

The National Association of Professional Organizers has dedicated January to... Read More

Clutter Crisis?

Clutter costs you time, money, space, and peace of mind.... Read More

The Most Frequently Asked Questions about Organizing Your Kids Rooms

1. In terms of organization, what is the first thing... Read More

Organize Your Children & Save Your Sanity

It may be difficult to relate saving money with organization... Read More

Organizing Lessons from a Bookstore

The store reminded me of a well-worn slipper ? tattered... Read More

Getting Organized - Getting Fit

In a speech entitled "Organized Living in a Disorganized World"... Read More

Improve Your Workplace to Make Your Life Better

What does "quality of life" mean to you? If you... Read More

Does Your Storage Make Sense?

What do your storage spaces look like? Do you know... Read More

Spring Makeovers: Organizing Tips for the Home and a Virtual Makeover for You

Winter is starting to retreat, and hints of Spring are... Read More

Common Clutter Culprits- How to Bust Through Clutter

Paper1. You may already be in the habit of filing... Read More

Clutter & Creativity

Take a look around you right now. Look away from... Read More

Taking Care of You: De-Clutter

De-Cluttering our lives can be an extremely liberating exercise. There... Read More

The Balance of Balance

Life is about maintaining a balance of all aspects. At... Read More

Its Time To Clear Out! Clutter Busting For Every Aspect Of Your Life

'A well-ordered life is like climbing a tower; the view... Read More

Cleaning Out Your Closet

Helping people clean out their closet is something I love... Read More

1-2-3 Sort

Article excerpted from the new book, "How to Do Space... Read More

Organizing - Time is of the Essence!

What does "time" have to do with getting organized? Everything!... Read More

Give Up Control to Get Control

For some reason, Americans think they have something to prove... Read More

Basic Organizing Principles

So you've decided to get organized, but you just don't... Read More

Get Organised Before Its Too Late

Last year I attended a presentation from Parenting Expert and... Read More

10 Easy Maintenance Tips vs Piling on the Chaos

Whether you are in your own business or an employee... Read More

Home Organizing Tips & Gizmos

Staying organized can be a constant battle. The following organizing... Read More

Your Organizing DNA

Do you like storing your papers on top of your... Read More