Did you know an average person goes through 70,000 thoughts per day? If you don’t organize these thoughts, they can come in the way of your productivity. Just like our closets, our minds need some tidying up too. There are pretty good chances that your mind is begging to free some headspace.
To really declutter your brain, you will need a braindump. Tech Target says that a braindump is the transfer of knowledge about a particular subject from the brain to another storage medium like a computer hard drive or maybe even a piece of paper. It gets you out of the confusing and overwhelming state. You release all the information contained in your brain and allow yourself to work on the task that is important. Our mind needs a 10-minute braindump each day. How about before going to sleep, write everything down or create a to-do list for the next day? This will free your mind and you will be able to sleep better.
That’s just one way of decluttering, if you really want to get organized, here are some helpful ways to clear your head, improve your focus and increase your daily productivity level:
Jot everything down and create a list. Lists are like containers for the mind that help you clear the mental clutter by putting thoughts in different compartments. Once a task is on the list, you don’t have to stress about remembering it. Now, a to-do list alone is not the solution, you have to prioritize things. Your daily priorities should not be more than 3. Why? because if there are tons of tasks in the priority list, you won’t be able to focus on any of them. So, make slow but better progress in stuff that actually matters.
Wait up, a to-do list with priorities listed shouldn’t be the only list to create in a day. You need to create a done-list too for recording everything that you accomplished during the day. This would serve as a great motivation booster.
It may sound counter-productive but to be honest, replying back to a work email while you are preparing a presentation and ordering food online is not going to help. Yes, it seems like multitasking saves you time but most of the times, it just limits your attention span and increases stress. Multi-tasking can be dangerous. You lose 40 percent productivity when you switch between tasks.
Take deep breaths
Always feel overwhelmed? Don’t worry, a quick way to relax is to take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly. This is a really effective technique to clear your head and elevate your mood. Deep breathing actually de-stresses you by reducing your heart rate and blood pressure.
Wondering how decluttering your thoughts is linked to procrastination? Well, according to a Scott Roewer, a professional organizer, the clutter in your head is basically delayed decisions. When you keep putting off things for tomorrow, your brain becomes overwhelmed. These pending decisions keep on running in your head. So, do yourself a favor, be decisive.
Keep a journal
I know I have already mentioned about writing your thoughts down but keeping a journal is different than making a to-do list. This journal should be exclusively for jotting down thoughts that you decide to keep in your brain. These thoughts can your long-term and short-term goals, the things you learned today, ideas or even feelings. Once everything goes on paper, these thoughts won’t take up space in your head anymore. The next night, go through what you wrote and cross out the things that are unnecessary so that you never have to think about them again.
Automate the routine tasks
The tasks like cooking meals, paying your bills, replying to emails at work etc. are essential and you can’t really remove them from your daily routine. Why not make them simple so that you don’t have to waste your mental energy thinking about them. Just automate these routine tasks by turning them into habits. For instance, plan a menu for the whole week so that you don’t have to waste your time thinking what meal to cook today.
Stop ingesting negative things
When you are on a detox regime, you have to be careful about ingesting food that is not healthy for your body. Same goes for your mind. You must be careful about ingesting anything that clutters your head. It can be any negative conversation, negative news and even excessive TV. Many of us are guilty of Netflix binging because we think it helps relax our mind. The truth is, it simply fills your head with more noise and halt your growth. If you really want to relax, read a book, listen to soothing music, take a hot bath or maybe take a walk. It will give you peace and clarity. Tim Ferris in his book, The 4-Hour Workweek says, ‘Lifestyle design is based on a massive action –output. Increased output necessitates decreased input. Most of the information is negative, time-consuming, irrelevant to your goals and outside of your influence.’
Wish you could shut all distractions around you and focus on one thing? There is a way to do that! Set a timer for 15 minutes or more and use this time to work on one task without stopping. If it helps, turn off the Wi-Fi. Once all distractions are shut, you will be amazed to see how efficiently you get the job done in that particular time-block.
Learn to let go
It is said, ‘If you want to grow, you must learn to let go.’ You cannot clear your head and organize yourself until you let go of the negative emotions that bog you down. Once you eliminate your fears, unnecessary thoughts and concerns, you not just clear the mental space, but reduce stress and boost self-esteem too. Letting go is an art. If you haven’t mastered it yet, you need to start working on it today.
What are you waiting for? It is time you identify that junk in your head and get rid of it for good!