How many times as something like this happened to you? You’re taking a shower and suddenly the perfect solution pops into your mind. This solution will solve a major problem you have been having with a project at work. You toss it around in your mind, thinking about how happy your client will be once you present this to them.
After you towel off, brush your hair, brush your teeth, get dressed, you grab your laptop and … it’s gone. You can remember a tiny bit of it, but not all of the details. This will never work in a presentation. You have struggled to remember the idea, but it just does not come to you. You may even briefly consider stepping back into the shower, but you know that won’t do it.
Here is a way to start to declutter your mind:
First start with a Brain Dump
Now this is going to seem very simple. Take out a piece of paper and pen. Start writing down every task you need to do hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. Write down ideas that have been bouncing around in your head. It will be a slow process to start but once you get going the tasks will flow. Since business and personal intersect write down everything in your life. Make sure you are not making a judgment about each one of these tasks and ideas, just write them down. You will sort them out later. Creating this list frees up some valuable mental room and now you don’t have to worry about remembering it anymore.
Next Do a Digital Dump
First, unsubscribe from promotional emails (that you never actually open) and turn off those clogging notifications from your Social Media sites. Delete emails that do not further your agenda. Then, filter and funnel different types of nonessential email into specified sections of your inbox, so that you can have them on hand if you need them—but don’t have to see them every time you log in. Lastly, if you have so many emails opened or unopened that it would take you hours to review declare an “Email Bankruptcy” and start fresh today.
Create a Manageable System
Finally, think about, sort your list and create a manageable system. Once your initial mind and digital purge is complete, it’s vital you prioritize and sort your list. With each item assign a date and time to complete. Start purging your list right now. Use a 2-Minute rule; meaning, if it can be done in less than two minutes, do it now. If it will take you more than two minutes to process the task and get it into your system, so you might as well just get it done.
Plan Your Day
Plan your day around your list and keep things from residing in your head. Block out time on your calendar to review your list to make sure your priorities are getting accomplished. Take time today to do this mind purge and you’ll find very quickly that your brain is flowing much more freely. You’ll feel mental refreshed and relaxed as you won’t be burdened with ideas or to-do’s in your head.
In fact, it may take a couple of days before you remember you don’t need to keep all of this in your head. You can use apps like Evernote or Trello to help you keep track of your lists and ideas. Just make sure you have a system which is trustworthy, otherwise you’re still going to keep everything inside of your cluttered mind.