Very much like physical clutter, we need a process for clearing the mental clutter. With our very busy lives, there are many tasks to be done and projects to get started. It isn’t surprising that our brains are working overtime to keep track of it all. I know that I think of tasks faster than I can act on them…how about you? As a result, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by mental clutter. Here are 4 tips for clearing mental clutter.
1. Collect all the tasks: With physical clutter, you may be gathering the papers into one pile. With mental clutter, there’s nothing that you can reach out and touch. It’s all in your head, rattling around and causing distractions and a feeling of overwhelm. However, we can still collect it all in one place… your to do list. Grab some coffee and a pad or your laptop and start jotting down all those random tasks floating around in your head.
2. Review your list: Just like with physical clutter, some sorting and purging is needed to so that you can better set your priorities. Group the tasks by categories like urgent, important, future and then group the related items together. Do all tasks that can be done in a couple of minutes as it will take longer to write them down. Delegate tasks that a member of your team or family can easily handle so you can focus on the work that only you can do. Tasks that just don’t need to be done should be deleted.
3. Schedule time: Assign a deadline for completing each task. You may have important tasks with immediate deadlines and those that are less urgent but still need to get done. Projects should be divided into a series of tasks so time can be blocked in small chunks to tackle them. Your to do list and calendar are the 2 most essential tools in keeping mental clutter under control. So be sure that time is getting blocked on your calendar to get the work done.
4. Repeat: Mental clutter can collect as quickly as physical clutter. Even with the best of intentions to always put tasks on your to-do list, there will be times when this doesn’t happen. This is when scheduling time for periodic brain dumps will be helpful. They can be especially beneficial if you have been completely engaged in a big project and all the other work has been pushed side.
Try these tips for clearing mental clutter if it is starting to overwhelm you. Start with a brain dump and go from there. Reach out to this NYC Professional Office Organizer today if you’d like additional tips.