Most humans have over 6,000 thoughts in a day. It’s a LOT of thoughts and it’s no wonder our minds feel overwhelmed and cluttered sometimes.
People frequently tell me that they are amazed at how organized I am and how good I am at planning, but what they don’t always see from the outside is the seemingly consistent chaos inside my brain. Haha. But with the 6,000+ thoughts going on both consciously + subconsciously in our heads, I’m pretty sure we all feel like this from time to time. But the reason I appear to have my shit together and am so well-organized on the outside is because of all the work I’ve put into managing my mind. When you can start decluttering and organizing your mind, you will reap the benefits in your life too. So how do you declutter your mind, you ask? Below are the four steps that I take to declutter my mind and thus live my life much more intentionally.
But first, what does a cluttered mind look like?
- A cluttered environment
- Struggling to create desired results
- Tired, low energy, exhausted
- Lack of creativity
- Constant feeling of overwhelm
- Extreme pressure + stress
Sound like you? Keep reading…
#1. Become Aware – Do Frequent Mind Cleanings
Do you ever feel like you can’t keep everything straight that’s going on inside your head? It’s because there are so many thoughts happening up there – both useful + unuseful ones. Conscious ones + subconscious ones. With so many thoughts going on, it’s hard for even the most organized people to keep everything straight up inside their heads. So that’s where doing a Brain Dump comes in handy. A brain dump is just taking a few minutes to dump out your thoughts from your head and get it out on paper. To help minimize overwhelm, I recommend focusing on one topic or area of your life at a time (ie, relationships, health, finances, etc) I also personally recommend doing this daily but feel free to do it as frequently as needed for yourself.
When everything is all up in your head, you are at the effect of your thoughts. But if you can get it out of there on paper, you can look at it from the point of view of a compassionate observer. You get to eavesdrop on your thoughts. Truly think about your thinking. From there, you can decide which thoughts you want to continue to focus on and which thoughts you can let go of with your brain dump.
#2. Ask Yourself These 3 Questions + Make a Decision
So now that you have your thoughts all out on paper (I’m sure that in and of itself will feel like a big sigh of relief), I want you to look at each of your thoughts and ask yourself these three questions:
- Does this thought support me?
- Would I choose this thought on purpose?
- Does this thought belong in my future?
Let me take you through an example of it.
Example: Thoughts around a weight loss goal.
- I can’t do this.
- I’m running out of time.
- I am still making progress.
- I always gain the weight back.
- I am learning with every failed diet.
- This doesn’t have to be hard.
- I can make this fun + easy.
So reading through all of those thoughts, which ones do you think would serve you best? Which thoughts would get a YES if you were to ask yourself the 3 questions from above? This is a great way to find out which thoughts will move you in the direction of your goals and which thoughts are just taking up space in your brain.
#3 – Say Goodbye to the thoughts that don’t serve you.
It can be hard to let go of those deeply engrained thoughts, but it will be well worth it to let those go and start creating new ones that you want to think. Also, consider what are some possible feelings that are weighing you down right now? Overwhelm? Anxiety? Anger? What are the thoughts fueling those feelings? Can you create new ones? Do old thoughts keep popping up again? When you find those old ones sneaking in, do a weekly/daily cleanse and sweep them clean (similar to how a room can naturally build up with dust + disorganization, you want to clean it frequently so it doesn’t get bogged down with gross crud.)
#4 – Create What you want.
Now it’s time to focus on the things that you want in your life. What is it that you want to create? What is it that you value most? The key here is to make sure that you don’t overload yourself with too much consumption and not enough creation. Maybe you are a creative entrepreneur and your goal is to create six figures in your business. I’m sure there will be lots of research + analysis to figure out the best route to success, but make sure that your ratio between consumption + creation isn’t skewed towards consumption. This can be a common trait amongst us recovering perfectionists as we tend to “procrasti-research” to make sure they know the best way to do something, but then never actually take steps towards creating their goal.
Imagine your mind like your cell phone storage space and how you can never keep the dang thing from filling up (I know we can all relate to this! haha). If you keep adding to it with apps and photos and videos, and you never get rid of anything, pretty soon you will run out of space. This is what happens in your brain if you keep consuming information every day without actually utilizing it to create something it will just pile up in your head and overwhelm you. Then you fail to get ahead. Some things to ask yourself when it comes to your consumption and creation:
- What’s your ratio of consumption vs. creation?
- What are you consuming too much of?
- How does your consumption make you feel?
- What are you avoiding by consuming?
These will help to provide you with clarity and keep you living life intentionally.
And I just want to leave you with a final quote:
“Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.” – Barbara Hemphill
Yup. It’s just you leaving your mind and your space a mess instead of deciding on the life you want to live. Clutter is the enemy of clarity, so if you want to have a clear path towards your goals, start organizing your mind + space, and see how far you will go!
Are you wanting to learn more about how to declutter + organize your mind so you can live more intentionally?
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