We often hear about the importance of decluttering our physical space, but what about the power of decluttering our minds?
Meetings, appointments, kids’ schedules, family functions, life—having trouble balancing it all? It’s not just you. Research shows that the average American has less than half an hour of free time each week. So, even if you have all the organized lists and perfectly planned routines, it’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed at times.
When your to-do list is a mile long and you start to feel like you just can’t keep up, focus on what you can control: your mind. Here are a few ways to clear out the mental clutter and attack your packed schedule with more clarity.
Write it down.
Did you know that humans have more than 6,000 thoughts in a day? More than 6,000! When you put it that way, it’s no wonder we slip up and forget to buy milk at the store—we’ve literally got thousands of other things on our mind.
You know those thoughts you just can’t seem to let go of? The ones that have you wide awake at 3 a.m., staring at the ceiling? Whether it’s an unresolved conflict or a different issue causing your lack of sleep, write those thoughts down! Clear up mental real estate by getting your distracting thoughts out of your head and onto a piece of paper, a sticky note, or a note in your phone. This small practice helps make space for the important details you’d normally forget.
Focus on just one thing.
You can make breakfast, write an email, and talk on the phone … but you can’t do all of these at the same time! Pick the task that’s most important right now and prioritize doing that first.
We tend to carry the mindset that multitasking is a sign of productivity, but it’s actually just the opposite. We are at our best when each of our tasks is given our full, undivided attention. And that can’t happen when we’re sending our brains in a million directions all at once! Start prioritizing your to-do list by order of importance, and check off each box … one at a time. (Not sure which task on your list should be completed first? Check out this post!)
Push out negativity.
Negativity is so deeply ingrained in our daily routines that most of the time, we don’t even realize it’s there. But by letting our negative thoughts run rampant in our brains 24/7, we’re missing opportunities to add positivity into our lives. When approaching a new task, you have three options:
- Option 1: Have a positive attitude and meet challenges with a “can do” mentality.
- Option 2: Pretend the task doesn’t exist by ignoring it completely and hoping it’ll just go away (this one is so tempting).
- Option 3: Stumble into the task with a dark cloud over your head and a “why me” mentality.
We don’t know about you, but Option 1 sounds like a whole lot more fun (and productive) to us! The point we’re making here is that while you may not be able to control your circumstances, you always have control over your attitude. Read this post to learn how to sprinkle more positive energy into your daily life!
There you have it—three ways to declutter your mind and run the day, rather than allowing the day to run you. Give your brain a little TLC by implementing one (or all) of these tips. Over time, you’ll find yourself approaching your obligations with a fresh perspective and more organized mind!