A brain clutter primer
Maybe you call it brain clutter. Maybe you call it being overwhelmed. Maybe you call it multitasking. Maybe you call it nothing because you had no idea this was a thing.
In the end what you call it really doesn’t matter, because the result is the same. Your brain gets to the point where it’s overloaded with things that don’t matter. And those impact your ability to get on with the things that DO
Recognizing that brain clutter is interfering can be difficult to even realize. It’s pervasive in this fast paced and instant gratification society we live in. The expectation is multi-tasking – but multi-tasking is a myth; the brain can only really focus on one thing at a time. In reality, your brain is just really good at flipping between tasks quickly and tricking you into thinking that you’re multi-tasking.
Recognizing Brain clutter
Some signs you’ve got brain clutter:
- Your to do list is longer than both your arms
- You bought a pretty planner with every intention of using it but it’s currently a door stop
- You know you need to take action but have no idea where to start
- your workspace looks less like a workspace and something more like an area you’d shut the door to if company came over
Let us count the ways to conquer brain clutter – in this case, there are five.
One – clearing physical clutter
OK. This one should seem like it’s a no-brainer, right? But lots of people struggle with clutter, including us. We’ve talked about this before here
When we are surrounded by physical clutter, it occupies space in our minds. It can occupy our minds both subconsciously and consciously.
You might need to explore some different techniques to get that physical clutter cleared, but we assure you that you will feel mentally lighter when it’s all done.
TWO – take a walk
Lots of research (so.much.research.) shows that taking a walk is highly beneficial for brain health. It also has the added benefit of exposing you to fresh air, which in turn helps you to sleep better. Which in turn, boost brain function. Coffee is great, but it’s not going to solve your brain clutter.
I’ve made it a point to take half an hour away from my desk during my workday to go outside and walk. I usually throw a podcast on and clear my mind. I have to say, my productivity took a huge spike upward when I started doing this!
Three – meditate
Meh (ditate). Why is it when people hear the word meditate, they imagine uncomfortable poses for hours on end and then run away (maybe with some screaming for good measure) when you suggest it?
You don’t need to make it an Eat, Pray, Love kind of situation (unless you want to). But you should make space in your day for some downtime for your brain. That’s all it is – a chance to put your brain into quiet mode for a little bit. I think you’ll be surprised how effective this is to clear brain clutter. Give it a shot!
Four – Forgive yourself
Listen. That tiny little voice in your head telling you you’re not good enough. Give her a name and then tell her to take her thoughts and – well you can decide what to tell her to do with them.
Why do we have so much negative self chatter? Would we say these things to our best friend and mean them? I hope not.
So, it’s time we stop telling ourselves that we aren’t good enough or smart enough and forgive ourselves for ever talking to ourselves like that. And then being aware and stopping the negative self talk when you find yourself headed that direction.
five – brain dump
The good old brain dump. If you’ve never heard of a brain dump, the best way to describe it is structured brainstorming for one. It’s a process consisting of:
- Emptying your brain onto paper by writing down everything that comes to mind.
- Categorizing it.
- Prioritizing it.
- Planning it.
And we’ve got a tool for that! Get it below.
We love a brain dump exercise – especially for introverts, who tend to live in their heads a lot. It’s a great exercise to help categorize our thoughts and give priority to the items we know need attending to.
Is your brain feeling lighter yet?
Clearing brain clutter may be simple when you make that space a priority, but it’s not easy to do. We’d love to know what you do to help keep your brain uncluttered?
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As always, we wish you success because you deserve it!