Decluttering your life and becoming organized starts with one important but easily overlooked step. You need to declutter your mind.
If your home and office are cluttered and disorganized, chances are your mind is too. Mental clutter is restless, moving from brooding over the past to worrying about the future. It’s going through your mental to-do list and fretting over having too much to do. Above all, mental clutter is exhausting and fruitless. It stops you from getting things done.
Here are some top tips for getting back in control and decluttering your mind.
1. Declutter your environment
If all you can see is chaos, your mind will be in overdrive all the time as there’s always something that needs doing. When you tidy up your space, things stop being overwhelming and you will be able to see if in fact anything needs doing.
2. Start keeping lists
Free up your mental space and keep anxiety at bay by writing lists. Checklists and to-do lists will keep your tasks ordered and allow you to prioritize. Use whatever method suits you best – a notebook, diary, wall planner, smartphone app or online tool.
3. Write it down
Get all those worries, ideas and what-ifs out of your head by writing them down. That’s especially useful if you can’t sleep because your monkey mind has gone into overdrive. Keeping a journal will help you work through whatever is worrying you. Often things look a lot less worrisome when they’re on paper. In fact, studies have shown that writing problems down helps the brain to process and find solutions.
4. Leave the past behind
A lot of mind clutter is caused by brooding over past events, whether it’s past hurts or things you wish you had said or done, opportunities you wish you had taken or actions you regret. All of these preoccupations take up space and energy in your mind that could be available for much more creative projects. Worst of all, mulling over the past is fruitless. You can’t change the past, but you can let go of things that are distracting you in your present life.
5. Focus on one thing at a time
Lets’ face it, multitasking is overrated. Trying to answer an email, take a phone call and do your monthly budget all at once is likely to leave you with lots of things half-done and feeling exhausted. You’re much more likely to make mistakes and become overwhelmed. Focus on doing one thing at a time, and you will be calmer and have a completed to-do list of tasks completed properly.