Day 14: Clear mental clutter
Tasks, appointments, shopping list, unfinished projects, unpaid bills, the spring cleaning, overdue paperwork, unopened mail, and a million 'pings' from e-mail, social media, texts, and voicemail ― just the tip of the iceberg of what takes up daily space in our heads.
The more we hold something in our mind, the heavier it becomes. The more we have on our mind, the less we are able to 'see the forest for the trees.;
Clutter, including mental clutter, triggers the part of the brain that registers pain. It is no wonder, that it has been linked to depression, anxiety and a host of health problems.
Here are a few proven strategies for clearing mental clutter:
The Quick Fix:
What about the rest? Trust that you'll be able to tackle them in due time.
- Do a brain "dump". Grab a pad of paper and write out every single thing that's weighting on your mind. Every. Single. Thing.
- Next: those things that jumped out at you while you were writing them...are your actual priorities! At least for today. Yes, it really is that simple!
- Tackle some quick and easy items from that list if you can right away ― it'll give you an awesome feeling of getting unstuck. Those items that you can't tackle right away: assign them a "home" either on your Master Task List or in your Calendar.
The Permanent Solution :
- Do a miniature version of The Quick Fix daily, preferably in the morning before you face your day. Empty your head and start your day fresh, without the weight of the world on your shoulders.
- Keep a Master Task List and a Calendar to give things a temporary "home" that's not in your head.
- Keep an eye on INCOMPLETE CYCLES ― tasks and projects that you started but didn't finish. Too often we let a million incomplete things hang over our heads, weighing us down and polluting our minds. Make it a habit to see things through OR put the next step on the calendar. Also, don't open e-mails unless you are prepared to take action ― an email that has been opened, but not answered becomes an incomplete cycle.