Gaining Control Through Capture (Part II)

4 min readApr 10, 2024


In recent articles we have talked about the importance of capturing out of our heads everything that calls our attention to achieve real control over the commitments that we acquire in life, both those that we generate and those that come from external sources.

As practical tools to capture in a massive way everything that may have relevance in our personal and professional lives, we have described the mind sweep and the focus horizons that allow a long-term perspective approach.

We have also talked about journaling as another additional method of capturing, more personal and oriented towards acquiring greater self-awareness. It is a tool that can greatly help to get this overall control.

In this article, we will explore other capture options that should be considered in certain situations.


Brainstorming is the best way to regain control when a situation is blocked and you feel you are not moving forward.

If you want to unblock a complex situation or project you must force yourself to reflect on the issue and record all those random thoughts out of your head. Writing down the ideas in a simple notebook will do more than enough.

Brainstorming is a kind of mental sweep on a particular topic, where you write down everything that strikes your attention when you are thinking about that topic.

We are very used to brainstorming. We do it all the time, always in our heads, to deal with most of the situations we face every day.

But when we capture those thoughts in a place other than our own head, this process improves considerably. The mind is focused on producing more ideas and is disengaged from the effort of “keeping them” and not losing them. Just writing things down makes the process more creative and, at the same time, lighter and more relaxed.

Remove clutter

De-cluttering is another way to quickly find things that are not where they should be. You never know how much unfinished business can hide under a messy desk, a tray full of papers or a drawer where we keep things without proper order or organization.

When you have the feeling that you are losing control over the “physical”, the material things that make up a certain area of your life, clean it up. Whether it’s your desk, your clothes closet or your car, doing a thorough cleaning will bring to the surface many things that have been falling through the cracks and need some kind of action.

Although we are usually vaguely aware that we should do some cleaning in some area of our house, office, garage, etc., this type of intention is not well fixed in the consciousness, so we must make an effort to carry it out.

Cleaning means throwing away what is no longer needed (many things that were functional once are no longer functional now), putting back what isn’t where it should be, capturing the things that catch your eye, and leaving the area tidy in a way that feels natural to you (even though it may not feel so natural to someone else).

When a physical area is cluttered, it controls you and you will try to avoid it whenever possible. Things accumulate on their own, but they don’t get rid of themselves. Suddenly, a drawer with a pile of cables for devices that no longer exist, pencil refills you no longer use, and instruction books for appliances you no longer have, become a drawer you never want to open.

The feeling you will have after cleaning an area that requires your attention and capturing all the pending things that were hidden there, will undoubtedly be one of renewed control and energy.

Group captures

There are times when great benefit is gained if the mind sweep, brainstorming, or de-cluttering is done collaboratively with people who are in some way involved in the context of the situation: your significant other, your family, your work team, your business partner, etc. The sense of control and balance can be much greater when other people’s points of view are included.

In professional environments, it’s common to carry out this type of process with the rest of the team in project management meetings, or with partners and advisors in board meetings, etc. It’s a good idea for each of the participants in the meeting to start by stating what is drawing their attention at that moment. If a team member isn’t in tune with what is being discussed, knowing this will help improve the cohesion and cooperation of the group.

In personal environments, these processes improve their results when they are done in a group (family and friends) and everyone feels involved and consulted on what to eliminate, what to change and what to do again.

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