A cluttered mind can be incredibly overwhelming, new information is difficult to digest and thoughts are bouncing furiously around your head leaving no room for concentration. Clutter in the mind is restless and unfocused, sometimes to the point where very little work can be done and organisation seems like an impossible task. Through all of this confusion and stress a positive outlook can be difficult to achieve, however there are methods that can be very influential over your state of mind.
Mental clutter can be incredibly draining, listed below are a few methods to organise your mind and in turn you will be able to think more clearly and focus on other important aspects of your life.
- Declutter your surroundings:
If you are surrounded by physical clutter then your mind will reflect that, spend some time working on clearing away and sorting out the items around you and you will find that your mind becomes much clearer. Organising your surroundings will cause your brain to subconsciously organise your thoughts which in turn allows for the digestion of new information to become more efficient.
- Write it down:
You do not need to keep a note of everything in your mind, write down as much as you feel you need to, be it notes, appointments, phone numbers, ideas and so on, this method can simply be a note pad or it can be online in the form of a blog, a Twitter or even photo based applications such as Instagram.
Keeping a diary can be a very effective method for decluttering the mind as it can be as personal as you want, the online forms of keeping note of everything can be a very successful outlet for thoughts but keeping a diary can help with more emotional aspects of your mind. Use a diary/journal to reflect on things that you are worried about, plans and goals that you would like to achieve, concerns about things that you feel are draining your energy, etc.
- Stop taking on too much:
Multi-tasking can be a massive cause for concern when it comes to a cluttered mind, take on one task at a time and try allocating yourself a time frame to complete these tasks separately, if you work on one at a time then you will be able to work and think more efficiently. Neuroscience has confirmed multi tasking is ineffective, you don't achieve the results you deserve. Visualise an area that is clear of all items, except for the one task which you are going to be working on, make sure that the area stays clear of all other items during the entire chunk of time that you have devoted to this task and if anything else tries to work its way into the area, mentally push it away.
- Let go of the past.
A cluttered mind is often related to the past, most people keep a mental record of past events, although many of these can be positive and can be looked back to fondly, some people hold onto the negative aspects of the past, including mistake they have made, opportunities they have missed, people they have hurt and grievances. Take time to go through these moments and memories, discard the areas that are bringing negativity to your mind and focus on the positive and calming aspects to give your mind more clarity. To achieve this focus on the now. There are lots of things we can do to focus on now. An example might be is to place all negative thoughts into a box, sell it up and release it into a fast flowing river that drifts away from you. Modern neuroscience asks us to use words like what and how. 'What can I do to improve my life now' are NOW words. Bring your thoughts into the present and connect your life with 'Now'. We are always in Now so lets start building our lives 'Now.'
An endless to-do list will cause brain clutter, simply accept that you can't do it all, choose to focus on the things that are most important to you and prioritise your time. Make a short list of your top priorities and devote your time to the things on that list, if other things come up then reshuffle your list to make it as easy and stress free as possible for you.
- Be decisive:
If you put off making decisions, your brain will soon be overflowing with all of the decisions that you need to make. Be decisive, create a pros and cons list for smaller decisions or work on the methods listed in the "Write it down" section to help with the more personal and or emotional decisions.
- Maintain a routine:
Giving yourself a daily routine can definitely help to reduct clutter in the mind as it allows for your mind to disregard smaller decisions that would normally occupy the mind. Make the decisions for the day the night before, for example, pick out what you would like to wear the next day, prepare yourself a lunch the night before, decide what you are going to have for breakfast. Alternatively, you can set yourself tasks for the week that can develop into routine, for example you can set yourself a day and time every week for chores and other activities, recreational or work related.
If there's one thing your mind loves it's a plan, a plan allows your mind to focus and relax into a structure that you are building and developing both inside and out of your life. This plan calms your mind and encourages tranquility.
Meditation is learning to focus the mind, when you learn how to place all of your attention on one thing all other thoughts disappear, the useless and unnecessary thoughts are washed away. This allows your mind then to focus on what's important, the real issues, meditation is like a recharge to your mind and body. Refer to my previous blog posts to help with meditation and relaxation techniques that can be applied to decluttering of the mind.
When working to declutter the mind, start with a few of the methods that you know you will be able to work towards without making changes that are too drastic to your life, this can then develop to using all of the methods or even refining a handful the methods so that they can become more personalised and easier to manage alongside everyday life. Focus on the positives of decluttering the mind, such as the ability to think more clearly, more confidence when receiving new information and more of an understanding of how your mind deals with a large amount of information, focusing on the positive will help to motivate your mind into decluttering and organising the brain which could result in the methods showing positive results at a more accelerated rate.