We all know that we should declutter our lives to bring about harmony, calm and a sense of wellbeing but doing it on a physical basis can be a much easier process than mentally. If you set aside a day to declutter cupboards, for example, you have a set pattern to work to: put on some old, comfy clothes; get some cleaning products and bin bags together and set about sorting everything into piles. Once the job is done, the reward is a real sense of achievement and positivity.
However, decluttering your mind can be much more daunting and difficult to achieve, albeit hugely important! Organisation is key to both physical and mental decluttering and below are 5 tips to help declutter your mind, stay in control and have fewer matters pressing on your mind.
1) Write it Down
Physically writing a list, either digitally or on paper is an amazing way to feel you can let go of remembering that you must do – or come back to – something. To-do lists are often talked about in a negative way in terms of your to-do list growing and not reducing, however, if you’re juggling too many action points in your head, writing down a list of tasks or goals which need to be achieved can seriously serve to take away stress. It can even be a good idea to keep a notebook by the bed in case a lightbulb moment happens at 3am and you think you’ll forget by morning!
Periodically it’s also useful to review a to-do list. Often a task which dates back in time turns out to be either unnecessary or just no longer a priority and it’s possible to tick it off without even doing it – result!
Prioritising tasks and goals on an ongoing basis is the only true way to make headway with a to-do list otherwise tasks/ideas/goals can remain there for the duration. Prioritising the tasks that are the most important or those that can be done quickly is a great way of methodically making steady progress through everything on your list.
It can really help if you strictly schedule periods of time where you perhaps tackle your email inbox or spend time on social media. Reducing the need for multi-tasking and focusing on individual activities reduces the risk of adverse mental clutter. Setting aside specific time to focus wholly on one area increases productivity, avoids mindlessly trawling through social media and as a result saves time and reduces facts, figures and information overload. Any interesting blogs or articles you come across online can easily be saved for reviewing at a specific time.
5) Clear the Decks
‘Tidy space, tidy mind’ might be an old adage but there’s certainly a lot of truth in it. Clearing the decks and making a tidy workspace can bring about a wave of positivity, productivity and motivation. Filing copies of all relevant paperwork electronically hugely helps keep the clutter at bay and together with keeping an electronic diary and categorising emails in your inbox in the same categories as your files, all your papers are very easily stored and subsequently located. For those few bits it might be essential to keep as hard copies, colour coded files regularly cleared out are all that’s needed in a filing cabinet drawer. Only keeping pens that actually work and any other necessary bits and bobs tidily on your desk is the only other ingredient to feel organised and in control of your workspace and by default, your work!