Mind Sweep Time (Services Needed, Skills, Learning, & Technology)

Meggin McIntosh
6 min readFeb 3, 2023
iStock by Getty Images: Anastasiia Makarevich

More mind sweeping, anyone? We are continuing with our series of articles intended to help you with prompts for looking around in your mind for tasks, projects, commitments that you may not be acknowledging but are cluttering up your mind. And who needs that?

This article’s foci (which always sounds like a weird word to me…focuses seems to make more sense)… Of course, I could say, “Here are the categories you will be focused on!” That works! Those categories are services needed, skills, learning, & technology. You may download these prompts here and have them handy for writing on or for reference as you make notes on your cards or the software program you’re using to gather your swept items:


Woo-eee, you say…Is your brain already releasing some ideas just see those words?! I wouldn’t be surprised.


Page 45 lists many different services that someone might need. There are prompts that would be more connected to your personal life and others more connected to your professional life. I’m constantly adding new prompts, either because of my own experiences or from conversations I have with people. For example, I was talking to someone who was thinking about buying a house as a fixer upper and it had been a rental in the past. The most recent renters had a teenage son who set fires around the neighborhood and burned down a building — as well as other problems. Renters before that family had been drug dealers and there was a raid on the house when they lived there. I was saying to my friend that if he bought the house, he would need to have a feng shui specialist or someone come in to help detox the energy of the house. He agreed that was a good idea. That led me to add that prompt to this list. Usually people don’t need someone to detox a house because of these kinds of problems (I’m hoping!!!) but you may want want one to help you have a different kind of positive energy in your home or work place.

Maybe your curiosity was piqued when you saw the phrase “Personal assistant” and you think, ‘Hmm…I need one’ but before you write it down, you worry about whether you could afford it or if you’re worthy of investing money that way. A few thoughts on that…

I’ve read several of Laura Vanderkam’s books, including, I Know How She Does It, which as with many of her other books, is specifically about what is revealed through people’s time logs. In the book 168 Hours, she makes a strong case about the need to hire out some tasks, projects, services, whether it’s a sitter or a house cleaner or a host of other help that is beneficial to busy people.

A couple of ways to help yourself think about whether it’s worth it to hire some help are the following (and you may think I’m veering off from the mind sweep, but I’m not. Figuring this out is a card I would add to your pile).

1. Determine what your hourly rate is. You do that by determining roughly what your salary + benefits are and if you have any other money that also comes in from insurance, alimony, dividends, or anything else. Divide that by the number of hours you work. The easiest is to figure that people work 50 weeks a year and 40 hours a week. So divide your total amount of money by 2000 and you’ll get a rough estimate of your hourly rate. You could decide that anything you can hire out for less than your rate makes sense. If your hourly rate is $35/hour and you can hire someone to run errands for you at $10 or $15/hour, then that is a no-brainer! Think about it.

2. Another way to think about this is to weigh the cost, albeit not necessarily the financial cost. For example, weigh the emotional cost or the mental cost of not having somebody else do something for you. One of my coaching clients (actually more than one) has the ever-lovin’-life sucked out of her to do detail work. She decided that even though she could do the work perfectly well, she didn’t like it and it was certainly not her brilliance work. So she hired a grad student who could do this — and quite happily (plus he earned some money).

Do I need to say anything here about hiring help if you’ve been procrastinating? Let’s acknowledge how the longer we put things off, the bigger and more onerous and more energy-draining they are. Hire a helper and get some of those energy vampires off of you!

You want to free up your precious mental, emotional, and spiritual energy! Personal or professional service providers are one way to do that.

Go through all the words and phrases on page 45 and see what it reminds you of as far as services needed. I’m sure you’ll come up with a few cards to add to your pile!

Skills & Learning

You’re a learner. I know that. You’ve demonstrated evidence of that. In today’s world, the need for constant learning is clear. And the opportunities for learning are abundant. You may have some definite areas where you need and want to learn or sharpen your skills. Or maybe it’s something that is tucked away as a goal or a wish… Go ahead and acknowledge whatever it is here as you review this page to see what comes up.


Then, page 47 — technology. Oh my. The temptation was to turn this into about 5 pages all by itself. The first word — equipment… What does that bring up for you? Equipment in your office that is sitting around? Equipment in your lab that is outdated and needs to be replaced? Equipment in your garage that seemed like a good idea when you bought it at Home Depot, but now doesn’t seem like such a good idea — since it’s never been out of the box in 7 years? Equipment that would help you do your work more easily — and you need to research it?

That word alone might generate quite a few cards for you.

Software and apps. Yowser. Learn, find, delete, upgrade, buy, delegate, research, practice, use, develop…any of those verbs and more could be paired with software or apps. It may feel overwhelming to think about all these ideas, but remember what I told you a couple of modules ago? The rumble tumble of all these tasks and to-dos and possibilities is in happening in your head and chewing up energy that could be much better spent actually DOING something related to the tasks and to-dos and possibilities. You can sort and DO things when you get them out of your head.

Use the prompts here to help you do that.

Yippee! More progress!

There are more articles to come in this series so be on the lookout for them (or go back and find some of the earlier ones if you’ve missed them).

Here I am the most recent day I was leading a mind sweep for about 50 people. I wore a rainbow shirt and rainbow necklace to symbolize the “arc” of how this process goes.

Here I am the most recent day I was leading a mind sweep for about 50 people. I wore a rainbow shirt and rainbow necklace to symbolize the “arc” of how this process goes.



Meggin McIntosh

Meggin McIntosh, “The PhD of Productivity®”, invests time & energy with people who seek ways to be overjoyed instead of overwhelmed. https://meggin.com