Feeling like your mind is working overtime? Is there a whirlwind of clutter slowly turning your mental space into an out-of-control mess? If you answered yes, we’re here to help you clear your mind!
Just like our home or office, our brain also needs a good tidying up every once in a while. Getting rid of all the non-essential mental baggage is crucial to stay focused, motivated and productive.
Last week we shared tips on decluttering your space to destress. This is a great place to start as a cluttered space fosters a cluttered mind. If your mind is still feeling stressed, there may be some more decluttering needed. This week we look at decluttering the mind.
Declutter Your Tech
Limit Social Media – We spend a lot of time on social media consuming so much information. All this information can fill your mind and cause stress. You can put a limit on the amount of time you spend on social media, the number of sites you go on, or the amount of content you follow. If you have an iPhone, you can set app limits directly in your device settings.
Review Inbox – It is also a good idea to set a time to review your emails. This helps boost productivity and reserve energy for more important things. It may also be time to look at who you are getting emails from and begin to unsubscribe to all the extra content that no longer meets your needs.
Limit Tech Before Bed – Our brains are built do some purging on its own while we sleep. It is best to avoid all electronic screens or mental activity that is over stimulating, such as scrolling social media or watching Netflix. These stimulations can cause less quality sleep and therefore not allow your brain to be as effective at clearing your mind at night. Instead, try setting aside at least an hour before you plan to sleep for relaxation activities that will help you and your brain get the rest it needs to work best for you. You can check out our 5 Tips for Better Sleep for more on this.
Ready for a challenge? – Try out this Digital Spring Cleaning to learn 10 ways to become more productive!
Write It Down and Take Action
Keep a Journal – Decluttering your brain with daily journal writing gets things out of your head and on to paper. Having a designated journal set aside for this can help keep all the mental clutter in one place.
Try a Brain Dump – Set a timer for 5 minutes and just write everything that’s circling around your mind. Once you have everything out of your head you can look at the paper and either leave your throughts there or use it to create and prioritize a to-do list. Check out one of these to get you started.
Make a To-Do List – At the end of each day write down things to be done the next day. This makes people more productive to start the day knowing the three most important things that need to get done. As other things pop up during the day, you can refer back to your list to keep your eye on the most important things.
Use Behavior Momentum – When struggling to get things done and out of your mind, make a list of 3 easy things that need to be done to get one of your most important things done. Behavioral momentum essentially means to build up momentum to your target task by using tasks you are most likely to do easily to lead up to the more difficult tasks. Essentially, you get into the flow by crossing the easier things off your list and moving towards the harder goals.
Cultivate Healthy Habits
Talk About Your Thoughts – Like journaling, when you have a trusted friend or colleague, talking can get things out of your head and provide a place to work things out. Having a trusted individual can also help you get support.
Be Decisive – Clutter can be seen as procrastination, leaving things for later. These unattended thoughts build in your mind; taking action and making decisions is helpful to get rid of them. If the decision is very overwhelming, such as finding a new doctor, begin by taking just the first step like making a phone call or looking online for more information.
Practice Mindfulness – Still some thoughts left zooming by in your mind? Learning the practice of mindfulness can help one see that thoughts in your mind are just thoughts. They are not facts, they don’t need to be followed or acted on. Instead you can practice watching them go by with no connection or stress.
Walk in Nature – Finally, to declutter your mind and destress, a daily mindful walk in nature has several benefits to your mind and stress levels. Spending two hours a week in nature is also good for your health and wellbeing.
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