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How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

When you have many thoughts in your mind, it can be overwhelming. Maybe you won’t be able to focus on just the thing you’re working on because of other things on your mind; or worse, you can’t fall asleep because of all the thoughts that get stuck in your brain.

But don’t worry, in this article I’ll get you some practical tips on how to declutter your mind for a sharper brain.

Why is your mind cluttered?

With access to different information platforms like Google, Facebook, News channels, families and even your own perspectives walking down the street, your mind becomes cluttered. Your brain is busier than ever before as an information-processing system.[1]

As you sit down to work in front of your computer, you may find yourself too overwhelmed to focus. Your head is stuck and you are mentally paralyzed.

An office worker could be trying to finish his project but gets distracted by customer emails. A mom of two kids could be wondering how she would ever be able to meet her deadline. An entrepreneur could be battling his fears of not doing good enough and thinking about getting a new job.[2]

What happens all the time is that you don’t give your brain one thing to focus on. Your brain is trying to focus on too many things at once and you end up getting stuck.

    According to Psychology Today,

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    “Clutter bombards our minds with excessive stimuli, causing our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren’t necessary or important.”

    When you are not giving yourself a place to focus, your mind chooses to focus on the fears and negative emotions. This makes you end up losing time and money.

    How to declutter your mind — utilizing a brain dump

    Decluttering your mind starts with a brain dump. It can last as quick as ten minutes.

    According to Tech Target,[3]

    “A brain dump is a complete transfer of accessible knowledge about a particular subject from your brain to some other storage medium, such as paper or your computer’s hard drive.”

    Brain dumps is the best way to take everything going on in your head out onto paper. This can get yourself out of a state of overwhelm and confusion, and turn your mental paralysis into action.

    By doing an effective brain dump, you release all of the information your brain tries to store and allows you to decide what is important.

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      1. Do a brain dump for 10 minutes every day

      Each night when you are done for the day, do a brain dump exercise.

      Use this information to build out your to do list for the next day. This also frees up your mind to focus on family and even sleep.

        You may find that when you get started with a brain dump, you have a hard time writing down what is in your mind.

        At other times you may mass distribute the words in your head onto paper at rapid speed.

        Whichever the case, grab a pen and paper and set the timer for ten minutes.

        Whatever comes to your mind, write it down. Do not edit as you write or worry about grammar. By simply writing, you transfer all of that information and later you will read this information and store it as needed.

        Write for ten minutes straight, if you cannot think of anything to write, write “I have nothing to write”. Doing this keeps your pen to paper and opens up the creative flow.

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        2. Categorize your brain dump

        Jotting everything down on paper and putting items into your calendar is the goal. It starts with looking at your braindump and identifying the themes.

        • Are there projects / tasks on the paper?
        • Which items are new ideas?
        • Which items are work related, family related, or hobby related?

        Create different categories and begin organizing each of the items on your braindump. Include a miscellaneous section for the random thoughts that you have.

        When you start to organize your brain dump, you can see where your mind is focused and possibly where you need to spend more time.

        An effective brain dump will allow you to focus on what matters. What you write down may not be relevant right now but you may need it at a future date.

        3. Turn ideas into a to-do list

          When you do your brain dumps at night, you are able to create your to-do list for the next day and set yourself up for success. Instead of showing up to work the next morning to get organized, you are ready to go and can jump right in.

          While building your to-do list, you can either defer tasks to a later date or delegate them out.

          Take a look at your calendar and start carving in the time. Identify the tasks that need to be done the next day or a few days later, focusing in on two to three major tasks a day. You can prioritize the tasks based on their importance and urgency.

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          When braindumping becomes a part of your life, you will notice that you’re less overwhelmed and have more time to focus on tasks at hand. You will see a boost in your productivity and the quality of work.

          The less clutter, the sharper your brain

          Brain dumping is a great way to declutter your brain, from negative emotions to the tasks you work on each day.

          At the end of your day, conduct a brain dump for ten minutes. Give yourself enough time after the brain dump to take a look at the tasks on your list.

          Identify the tasks that have a high priority and cannot be delegated or deferred, and begin to place the high priority tasks into your calendar.

          By focusing on the tasks each day, you know what you are working on and what your next step is. You will save a lot of time and energy by spending it on what matters.

          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

          Reference

          More by this author

          RebeccaLynn Bologna

          MBA, Mom mentor and Business coach

          How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster How to Fix Burning out at Work and Get Back on Track What the Most Successful People Do in the Evening Real Passion Will Never Die Out? False.

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          Last Updated on December 10, 2019

          How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

          How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

          It is hardly a secret that the key to successfully accomplishing one goal after another is staying motivated. There are, of course, tasks which successful people may not like at all, yet they find motivation to complete them because they recognize how each particular task serves a greater goal.

          So how to stay motivated most of the time? Here are 5 simple yet effective ways on how to stay motivated and get what you want:

          1. Find Your Good Reasons

          Anything you do, no matter how simple, has a number of good reasons behind it.

          You may not be able to find good reasons to do some tasks at first but, if you take just a few moments to analyze them, you will easily spot something good. We also have many tasks which don’t need any reasoning at all – we’ve been doing them for so long that they feel natural.

          If you’re ever stuck with some tasks you hate and there seems to be no motivation to complete it whatsoever, here’s what you need to do: find your good reasons.

          Even when you set goals, there needs to be reasons behind these goals. They may not be obvious, but stay at it until you see some, as this will bring your motivation back and will help you finish the task.

          Some ideas for what a good reason can be:

          • A material reward – quite often, you will get paid for doing something you normally don’t like doing at all.
          • Personal gain – you will learn something new or will perhaps improve yourself in a certain way.
          • A feeling of accomplishment – at least you’ll be able to walk away feeling great about finding the motivation and courage to complete such a tedious task.
          • A step closer to your bigger goal – even the biggest accomplishments in history have started small and relied on simple and far less pleasant tasks than you might be working on. Every task you complete brings you closer to the ultimate goal, and acknowledging this always feels good.

          2. Make It Fun

          When it comes to motivation, attitude is everything. Different people may have completely opposite feelings towards the same task: some will hate it, others will love it.

          Why do you think this happens? It’s simple: some of us find ways to make any task interesting and fun to do!

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          Take sports for example. Visiting your local gym daily for a half-an-hour workout session sounds rather boring to some. Yet many others love the idea!

          They like exercising not only because they recognize the good reasons behind it, but simply because it’s fun! At certain time of their daily schedule, they find going to gym to be the best thing to do, simply because nothing else will fit their time and lifestyle so perfectly.

          Depending on how you look at it, you can have fun doing just about anything! Just look for ways of having fun, and you’ll find them!

          A simple approach is to start working on any task by asking yourself a few questions:

          • How can I enjoy this task?
          • What can I do to make this task fun for myself and possibly for others?
          • How can I make this work the best part of my day?

          As long as you learn to have the definite expectation of any task being potentially enjoyable, you will start to feel motivated.

          Some of you will probably think of a thing or two which are valid exceptions from this statement, like something you always hate doing no matter how hard you try making it fun. You’re probably right, and that’s why I don’t claim everything to be fun.

          However, most tasks have a great potential of being enjoyable, and so looking for ways to have fun while working is definitely a good habit to acquire.

          3. Change Your Approach And Don’t Give Up

          When something doesn’t feel right, it’s always a good time to take a moment and look for a different approach for the task.

          You may be doing everything correctly and most efficiently, but such approach isn’t necessarily the most motivating one. Quite often, you can find a number of obvious tweaks to your current approach which will both change your experience and open up new possibilities.

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          That’s why saying “one way or another” is so common — if you really want to accomplish your goal, there is always a way; and most likely, there’s more than one way.

          If a certain approach doesn’t work for you, find another one, and keep trying until you find the one which will both keep you motivated and get you the desired results.

          Some people think that trying a different approach means giving up. They take pride in being really stubborn and refusing to try any other options on their way towards the goal.

          My opinion on this is that the power of focus is great, but you should be focusing on your goal, and not limiting your options by focusing on just one way to accomplish it it.

          4. Recognize Your Progress

          Everything you may be working on can be easily split into smaller parts and stages. For most goals, it is quite natural to split the process of accomplishing them into smaller tasks and milestones. There are a few reasons behind doing this, and one of them is tracking your progress.

          We track our progress automatically with most activities. But to stay motivated, you need to recognize your progress, not merely track it.

          Here’s how tracking and recognizing your progress is different:

          Tracking is merely taking a note of having reached a certain stage in your process. Recognizing is taking time to look at a bigger picture and realize where exactly you are, and how much more you have left to do.

          For example, if you’re going to read a book, always start by going through the contents table. Getting familiar with chapter titles and memorizing their total number will make it easier for you to recognize your progress as you read. Confirming how many pages your book has before starting it is also a good idea.

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          You see, reading any book you will be automatically looking at page numbers and chapter titles, but without knowing the total number of pages, this information will have little meaning.

          Somehow, it is human nature to always want things to happen in short term or even at once. Even though we split complex tasks into simpler actions, we don’t quite feel the satisfaction until all is done and the task is fully complete.

          For many scenarios though, the task is so vast that such approach will drain all the motivation out of you long before you have a chance to reach your goal. That’s why it is important to always take small steps and recognize the positive different and progress made. This is how your motivation can sustain in long term.

          5. Reward Yourself

          This is a trick everyone likes: rewarding yourself is always pleasant. This is also one of the easiest and at the same time most powerful ways to stay motivated!

          Feeling down about doing something? Dread the idea of working on some task? Hate the whole idea of working? You’re not alone.

          Right from the beginning, agree on some deliverables which will justify yourself getting rewarded. As soon as you get one of the agreed results, take time to reward yourself in some way.

          For some tasks, just taking a break and relaxing for a few minutes will do.

          For others, you may want to get a fresh cup of coffee and even treat yourself a dessert.

          For even bigger and more demanding tasks, reward yourself by doing something even more enjoyable, like going to a cinema or taking a trip to some place nice, or even buying yourself something.

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          Your progress may not seem to others like anything worth celebrating but, take time and do it anyway! It is your task and your reward, so any ways to stay motivated are good.

          The more you reward yourself for the honestly made progress, the more motivated you will feel about reaching new milestones, thus finally accomplishing your goal.

          Mix and Match

          Now that you have these five ways of staying motivated, it is a good moment to give you the key to them all: mix and match!

          Pick one of the techniques and apply it to your situation. If it doesn’t work, or if you simply want to get more motivated, try another technique right way. Mix different approaches and match them to your task for the best results.

          Just think about it: Finding good reasons to work on your task is bound to helping you feel better; and identifying ways to make it fun will help you enjoy the task even more.

          Or, if you plan a few points for easier tracking of your progress and on top of that, agree on rewarding yourself as you go; this will make you feel most motivated about anything you have to work through.

          More to Boost Your Motivation

          Featured photo credit: Lucas Lenzi via unsplash.com

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