I am struggling to remember how I first got introduced to this technique, and also trying to work out why I stoppd using it since it has really worked very well for me in the past! I guess no one is perfect and that it is easy to get caught up in everyday life and work. Then today the thought popped into my head. I don’t even know where the thought came from but I am glad I acted on it because it would be beneficial for me to start using it again.
Now, this may not be the exact way it was meant to be used, I have no idea who designed it or came up with the idea! I don’t even know if it is called “The Problem Drawer” or if I just chose to call it that!
My way of using it (when I remember to) is this; whenever I am faced with a problem that I am struggling to find a solution to, the first question I ask myself is: “What can I do right now to solve it?” If I don’t get an answer I write the nature of the problem down on a piece of paper and put it in a drawer. I then refuse to think about it anymore (which is easier said than done) and if I catch myself thinking or worrying about it, I remind myself that it’s in the drawer.
Then once a week I look through the drawer one problem at a time and ask myself: “Is this still a problem?” and the interesting thing is that, most of what i perceived to be a problem at the time turns out not to be a problem anymore.
This leads me to believe that I created the problem in my head with silly questions like “what if….” which is then not really a problem at this point but a potential future problem!
The benefit of ” The problem Drawer” for these “future” type problems is that I spend a lot less time worrying about them. You know when you play all these different scenarios out in your head? “What will I do if I lose my job”? “What will I do if….”? I suspect I am not the only person on this planet that goes through this process!! The reality, however, is that when this goes on in my head, it is not actually a problem!! The events hasn’t happened yet and that is exactly how the “Problem Drawer” has helped. It reduces the “films/scenarios” in my head whenever I remember to do it!!
It may be wise to remind, at least myself” that this is not some magic box that solves all problems without any action on my part! There will be situations, challenges, problems – whatever you want to call it, that requires action on my part. Some of these may require action instantly, where “The Problem Drawer” is not the best vehicle for it.
Like if you have to pay your mortgage and haven’t got the funds to do it – putting it in the drawer will not result in the mortgage being paid. (unless of course you have a magic drawer, in which case I want to know how to get one!!) The question “What can I do right now to resolve this” can help.
You may still not be able to pay the mortgage or bill or whatever the problem is , but you could contact the bank and tell them that you are having a problem, which could then change the problem slightly as they may be able to offer you some kind of plan to resolve it over time, which could be a solution in the short term.
I am sure there are many variations of the “Drawer” but the main thing for me is to have a way of getting the future worries out of me head and this does it for me.
If you happen to read this and have a different way of doing this, please let me know. I believe that we can all learn a lot from eachother as long as we are willing to share.
If you want to let me know about your way, please email me or write a comment.
I will leave you with a beautiful poem I found on another blog – Click HERE