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If you are like me, your mind is working in your sleep. Sometimes I even wake up tired. It is as if I was working the entire time. Decluttering your life and becoming organized starts with one important but easily-overlooked step. You need to declutter your mind.
A few weeks ago, I saw an article on Facebook that said, a disorganized house causes anxiety. I really didn’t need an article to tell me this as clutter causes me great anxiety. With a husband and a three year old son, our house is often cluttered. Recently, I had to have a heart to heart with my husband. Because I know that clutter causes me anxiety, I asked that when he comes home on his lunch break to take care of a few items that will bring me some peace when I come home. He got on it and those few items have brought me much sanity since.
If your home and office are cluttered and disorganized, chances are your mind is too. Mental clutter is restless, moving from looking back 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. You can focus on your passions and pursuing your goals. If you are a procrastinator, being disorganized makes your situation worst. It stops you from getting anything 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.
Even if you live in a small space, there are ways to declutter and organize the space so that it looks bigger and cleaner. Pinterest is a great place for finding ideas on organizing small spaces. Create a board and start pinning ideas. You can also hire someone who specializes in designing small spaces. Whether you hire someone or come up with some ideas on your own, you must get your environment in order or your mind will be forever out of order.
Use Lists & Project Management Software
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.
I have also used a couple of free project management tools – Trello and Asana. I love absolutely love Asana. Many teams use it to keep projects on track but it is a great tool for keeping your personal projects in tack.
Always Write It Down
Whenever my husband or I have an idea about something we use Google Drive to store it. Regardless of whether or not we want to immediately start working it on, we make sure we store it somewhere so that we can always reference it. You must get all ideas out of your head by writing them down. That’s especially useful if you can’t sleep because your 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. Forget the Past…It Has Passed
A lot of mind clutter is caused by not getting over past experiences. 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. You have to forget the past, learn from your mistakes and move forward. International leadership guru, John Maxwell, calls it Failing Forward. You can’t change the past, but you can let go of things that are distracting you in your present life.
5. Pace Yourself and Focus on One Thing at a Time
Let’s face it, while there are times when you need to multitask, it is overrated. When you try to do too many things, you typically get nothing done. Trying to accomplish all of your goals 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 or two thing at a time, and check things off your to-do list. You will feel much more accomplished and fulfilled.
So, what do you need to declutter in order to regain your sanity? 🙂