Declutter your mind. The fastest way to combat that feeling of constant distraction.
That nagging feeling that you’ve forgotten something – or someone. Declutter and you’ll find focus again.
Like with “things,” declutter first, and organize second. Two distinct steps; if you are creative, a big picture thinker or someone with ADHD, you’ll make the best use of your creative, connector strengths by separating the decluttering from the organizing. [My strengths are here.]
Imagine a pinball machine: lots of balls, moving quickly, hitting obstacles along the way.
And what happens when we don’t focus on just one of those pinballs? We drop the other balls.
The others drop through the gate.
We lose. We get stressed.
Stress and clutter of the mind are tightly linked for me and many people I organize and coach with.
A cluttered mind: Is it like this for you?
I start forgetting things. I say things which aren’t quite what I mean – not as articulate as I like to be.
I don’t listen as well; I’m not as present, even though I’m told I’m a strong listener. So this is important to me.
I don’t get as much done – in my personal or my business life, cuz it’s all just too darn cluttered up in my head.
Declutter your mind: 6 ways to start
- Choose something, ANYTHING running around in your head and finish it. Don’t waste time deciding if it’s the “right” thing to finish. Do choose something you can polish off quickly. The point is to start making those pinballs go away, one by one.
- Write down whatever is in your head. On whatever is available. Don’t go looking for the perfect list or notepad or your phone. Later, sit with your temporary list. Think about and process each item. Decide what deserves space on your regular task/to do/next actions list. Consolidate.
- Use your phone, tape recorder, Dragon software or anything that will hold your voice. Record everything in your head. If you process best by talking aloud, decluttering your brain is best done in a verbal way at first.
- Artistic or creative: create something. This could be a craft or a visual mind map. Take a creative break to clear your head. The mindmap will help get stuff out of your head. The non linear, creative and kinesthetic all tied into one possible solution for you.
- Walk away from your desk. Go do something. Get some energy out of your body. I go out to the deck and take a few deep breaths. I walk away from work and I see things differently. Go play with your dog. Call your child/grandchild/nephew. Call your accountability partner, your friend, your organizing coach. Talk out loud about everything that’s in your head, or that one thing you can’t figure out on your own. Talking it through aloud, with some astute and powerful questions, will release the clutter; you’ll start solving that problem you’re wrestling with.
- Let go of something. Kick it out. What could you let go of? What causes you the most frustration ? What are you not as good at, as someone else who can do it better? How have you let go of things on your list before; how could that work for you again?
And going forward
How did your mind get cluttered to begin with? Answer that question and you’ll do some preventive work this time. Sort of like decluttering a little bit at a time on your desk or at home. Same thing here, right?
So what’s cluttering your mind these days? And how can I support your decluttering efforts? Create time … and calm … for what matters.
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