There’s something a lot worse than having a cluttered home or work space and that’s having a cluttered mind. A cluttered mind is restless and unfocused. It tries to move in many different directions at once and the result is that very little gets done.
Time to clean out some space in your head. You can get started by following these 10 ways to declutter your mind and free up mental space. I mean, there’s only so much room in our heads, you know?
1. Declutter Your Physical Environment. Physical clutter leads to mental clutter. First of all, clutter bombards the mind with excessive stimuli, which forces the brain to work overtime. Secondly, physical clutter signals to the brain that there’s always something else that needs to be done, which is mentally exhausting. As you declutter your physical space you’ll discover that your mind is also decluttered.
2. Write It Down. You don’t need to keep everything stored in your brain. Choose a tool—it can be an online tool, an app, or even a pad of paper—and think of it as a storage device for all those bits and pieces of information that you need to remember. This can include appointments, phone numbers, ideas for future projects, etc. I personally use an old rolodex right on top of my desk and you should see what’s on those rolodex cards.
3. Keep a Journal. Keeping a journal is similar to the previous point, “write it down”, but with more depth. A journal allows you to download the inner chatter that’s constantly interrupting your thought process when you’re trying to get important things done. For example, you can write in your journal about the following:
- Things that you’re worried about
- Plans for achieving an important goal
- Concerns about a relationship that’s draining your energy
4. Let Go of the Past. Mind clutter is often related to the past. Most people keep a large cabinet of mental drawers stored in the back of their minds. These drawers are filled with mistakes they’ve made, opportunities they’ve missed, people they’ve hurt, past grievances, etc.
Take the time to go through those mental drawers and discard memories of the past that are not serving you well and are just cluttering up your current life.
5. Stop Multi-Tasking. If your house is a mess and you need to organize and declutter it, how would you begin? You would probably start by choosing one important area—for example, the kitchen table—and clearing it of all clutter.
The mental equivalent of clearing off the kitchen table is to choose a certain amount of time which you’re going to devote exclusively to one important task. During that time push all mental clutter to the side and focus all of your attention on the task at hand.
Visualize a table that is clear of all items, except for the one task which you’re going to be working on. Make sure that the table stays clear of all other items during the entire chunk of time that you’ve devoted to this task. If anything else tries to work its way onto the table, mentally push it off.
Cool Mona Note: The remaining 5 tomorrow. Didn’t want to overload you.