Declutter Your Mind
Author: Tia Evans
Publish date: 15/06/18
Clutter, clutter, clutter. Is there any way to get rid of it? If it’s isn’t in our homes, in our work space it’s in our minds.
Clutter is in all of us. It can be seriously difficult however to stay focused and driven if you find yourself overwhelmed by clutter. A cluttered mind is usually restless and unfocused, a recipe for procrastination and un-productivity. At times you may notice that clutter is overwhelming and the end result causes stress and anxiety as the to do list of life grows longer and longer.
Clutter in our mind can begin with worrying about the future, stressing about deadlines and taking on too many tasks at once. Fortunately for us, there are many strategies that we can put into place that helps us tidy up our mind our “compartmentalise” tasks thus enabling us to be more productive and overall, happier.
Here are our top nine ways to declutter our brains:
- Tidy desk, tidy mind.
I know it has been said before, but this is really true. Keep your desk tidy and your brain will thank you for it. There is nothing more stressful than a chaotic work space that forces you to rummage around endless pieces of scrap paper, letters and forms. Our brains simply cannot focus on getting a task done when it is receiving subliminal signals to organise our work space. Get it organised! This way you can look at each task, tackle it and move on to the next without that nagging “there is more to be done” feeling.
- Write a to do list.
Each and every morning, wake yourself up and write a list of jobs to do today. Choose a medium, whether it’s paper, notepad on your phone or an app online. No item is too big or small so pop down brushing your teeth if it will help you to get yourself up and ready. Ticking off each thing as you complete a task is mentally relaxing and helps keep you motivated to move on to the next job. Your brain will thank you for that feeling of small achievements throughout the day far quicker than waiting until all the jobs are complete to feel satisfaction.
- Keep a diary.
We have an entire blog post all about the importance of keeping a diary here – have a read and consider starting to write everything down. This reinforces the previous point but with more depth. A journal allows you to download all of that internal clutter in your mind and unload it from your brain. You will feel more relaxed, clear and focused if you write down all of your thoughts and feelings onto paper. Don’t keep them bottled up! For example, you can write about:
- Day to day stress.
- Goals and how you will achieve them.
- Concerns that are causing you to worry.
- Move on.
This is so important to anyone who is an over-thinker. Let go of those little things that upset you yesterday or that niggle in the back of your brain that says you may have upset someone or forgotten about that tiny detail. It is SO easy to allow your brain to takeover and before you know it your problems have grown arms and legs whereas they could have just simply disappeared. I know this is easier said than done but allowing the past to stay in the past really will help you focus on a brighter, more positive future.
Tip: Take some time to go for a walk that can help clear your mind of all of those things it wants to hold onto.
- Don’t multi-task.
Think about your work logically. If you were to begin packing for a holiday would you throw everything you brain thought of at once into your suitcase or would you strategically think of each item/category you may need and then pack accordingly? Use this in relation to your work. Take each task on its own and knuckle down to complete it. This way your brain stays clear of all the other stuff that can wait it’s turn enabling you to give your 100% into everything you do. If we do several things all at once, you could find that you only give 70% of your effort to it. Separating tasks and ticking them off as you go encourages maximum effort.
- Rethink your sleep.
There are so many apps out there that can help you to track your sleep and maybe giving one of them a go could help you to finally declutter your mind! You may find that sometimes you aren’t getting enough sleep or your sleeping patterns aren’t ideal. Maybe sleeping with the TV on is causing you to have crazy dreams or perhaps you sleep past the point you need to and wake feeling groggy and unmotivated. Consider having a think about how much and what quality of sleep you get and attempt to rectify it.
- Get outdoors.
This is alluded to in point no. 4 but seriously, get outdoors! It is so important that we allow ourselves time to go outside and breathe in some fresh air. The outdoors can do wonders not only for your physical health but your mental health as well. I personally like to go for a walk or do some yoga outside. Don’t take your phone and have a go at listening to the natural sounds around you. It promotes a cathartic release for the brain and can really help you to feel relaxed and ready to take on the world.
- Meditation & breathing.
This is a great tip for anyone who feels their stress effects their body physically. Take some time to really breathe and feel the air fill your lungs (I know it may sound silly but give it a go and you’ll see). When you focus your mind on breathing, it has a chance to let go of all of those worries and stresses that causes your cluttered mind. You feel instantly refreshed and relaxed by focusing on the most basic of functions and best of all, deep breathing can be done anywhere. So, if you ever find yourself stressed out or anxious try taking some deep breaths to help enable that calm state we want.
- Be mindful.
Instead of exhausting your mental energy, use your energy for constructive thinking and positive action. Avoid over thinking and constantly worrying about those tasks day in day out – they won’t get any better in the long term just because they sit on our brain. Distract yourself, do something that forces you to take time to relax and enjoy your time. Then, once you feel like you have allowed yourself time to think of a new perspective make a plan and take action.
Mental clutter causes serious traffic in our inner world. Think of it like a road jam, without each car slowing down and moving towards it’s direction the congestion would never clear. Use your time to really manage those inner thoughts, take them on one by one and find yourself less stressed and achieving more in no time.