Day 22: Whiteboard Sessions


There’s an exercise we’ve used for years that helps when one or both of us are stressed. We call it a whiteboard session. Here’s how it works.

We sit at our whiteboard (or computer, pen+paper, etc) and go through these 3 steps:

1. Capture everything on both your minds.

Problems, commitments, questions, todos, frustrations,¬†everything. Just write it all down. This process cultivates awareness of what’s on your mind (often stress can come from knowing there’s a lot of stuff but not being able to get your arms around it). Doing this with a spouse is a great way to increase communication (which is key¬†for great marriages).

2. Organize the list.

Group like things, start to order/prioritize. Is anything urgent? Put that toward the top. Any dependencies? Put those things together. The process of both talking about how to organize is (again) a great way to communicate.

3. Decide how to handle the most pressing things.

Now let’s act. Which items need to get done next? Put them on your calendar or to-do list.

Capture + Organize + Decide

A bonus activity that can help is breaking step 1 into “What’s going well?” followed by “What’s not going well?” This can help by starting things on the positive.

The act of writing down what’s on your mind, being a little more present, and intentionally becoming aware + making meaning + taking action is liberating.