Can’t sleep? Jumping from one task to another without finishing anything? Don’t know where to start with everything that needs doing? Leaving the office with your head spinning?
These days tasks, appointments, communication, information and stress are bombarding us from every direction. We have mind clutter coming in from emails, face to face discussions, notes, letters (usually bills)! meetings/appointments, our thoughts, in-trays, phone calls, SMS, Social Media, the internet and TV.
In order to avoid mind clutter taking over, you need to funnel all this information into one place. Ideally, you would keep both your work and personal mind clutter in one place, however if you need to separate the two, it’s best to devise a way of getting your work mind clutter into it’s rightful place when you are at home and vice versa. This will eventually allow you to relax at home and to focus at work.
Outlook is one of the most efficient sorting and prioritising tools for mind clutter. Utilising tasks, calendar, contacts, notes and categories provides a way of sorting, prioritising, reminding and tracking all your mind clutter and allows for priorities to change at the touch of a button! However, to utilise Outlook in this manner, you typically need some training or an amazing assistant. Other ways to sort and manage your mind clutter include Command centres, a diary/planners, g-mail and associated google apps, planning apps, or even just your smart phone. However, you funnel and sort your mind clutter, ensure you can easily retrieve the information that you’ve moved out of your mind and can prioritise your tasks and add anything you need to, whenever you need to.
For those who struggle ‘switching off’ at home, any work thoughts that occur to you, need to be sent to the office, a great way to do that is via email. Create a draft, save it and add to it anytime a thought comes to you. Jot down as much detail as you need to remember and pick it up in the morning at work.
Great time management practice also includes setting aside time to plan for tomorrow – no matter who you are! Busy exec, parent, uni student, dolphin trainer – whatever! Not only will this help you manage your time better and set the right priorities, it will also help reduce mind clutter when you leave the office or once you get the kids to bed! You’ll start to feel more in control each afternoon or night when you ‘clock off’ from whatever you are doing….and if you’re never clocking off – Executives, Small Business Owners & Mothers, I’m looking at you! Then you need to stay tuned for my “Recharge” blog coming soon!
Reducing mind clutter is all about getting the clutter out of your mind and prioritised. Taking tasks, appointments and information and filtering them, then storing them somewhere other than your mind, to retrieve them and give them the time they require when you have the time to commit to them. From remembering to take the bins out, to reviewing your business plan – from remembering to buy milk at the shops to launching your website – it all clutters your mind and inhibits you from really focussing on the task at hand, so set aside some time and have a think about how best to declutter your mind!