Life can be full of worries, stresses, and endless things to do. Every day we are bombarded with thoughts of circumstances, plans, commitments, hardships or even ideas. As a result, the mind becomes cluttered with thoughts. Unfortunately, very little gets done when your brain is moving in many different directions all at once. If you long for some semblance of calm and clarity, then teach yourself how to free up mental space. With that in mind, here are 5 tips for decluttering your mind that you can start to practice today.
1. Write It Down
Write down appointments, things you want to look up, ideas for future projects, phone numbers, reminders or anything that comes to mind but does not need your immediate attention. Doing so is a great way to release pent-up thoughts. This will also help you to stay focused on issues that are more important without having to fill your head with everything you need to do and remember. Use a notebook or digital app to take notes.
2. Set Your Priorities Straight
Is your daily to-do-list filled with tasks or activities that aren’t necessary important but you commit to them anyway? If so, it is about time that you decided what is essential. Taking this step will allow to stop spending your time on matters that are taking up a huge chunk of your mental focus but do not add value to your life. The first step you need to take is accepting that you can’t do it all. Next, make a short list of what is most important for you to focus on. Finally, devote the bulk of your mental strength and focus on your list of top priorities. Doing so eliminates unnecessary thoughts of things that may not matter.
3. Focus on One Task at a Time
Nothing creates as much brain clutter as trying to multi-task while going about your daily activities. When you are multi-tasking, your mind will be racing as it tries to quickly shift focus from one task to another. Often, working on several tasks at once makes it difficult to pay close attention to detail. When trying to process too much information at the same time, you are more likely to forget things, make mistakes and feel under pressure or stressed. You can avoid all of these negative effects by learning how to do one thing at a time. This in turn will not only ease your mind, but also boost productivity and the quality of your work.
4. Block Out Unnecessary Information
In this day and age of social media, blogs, gossip tabloids on the Internet and cable TV, it is easy to overload the mind with content. The problem with too much information is that it can clog up the brain and create a mental state where you are constantly wandering off in thought. However, you can declutter your mind by controlling your media intake. Focus on information that is relevant or important to you and block out the rest.
5. Practice Mindful Meditation
Mindful meditation is a practice used to achieve mental quiet and a sense of calm by focusing on the here and now. For example, at the end of each day you can form a ritual of clearing the mind of all thoughts and simply focusing on your breathing. Overtime, this act of mindfulness may be employed in other aspects of life. This will allow you to limit your mental energy on what you can do to make a difference rather than worry about things that are out of your control.
So, there you have it, 5 tips for decluttering your mind. If you find it hard to adopt any of the practices shared above, don’t give up. Keep working them, they'll become second nature.