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Last Updated on July 10, 2018

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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          Published on April 25, 2019

          How Creativity Can Help You Get Ahead in Life

          How Creativity Can Help You Get Ahead in Life

          Have you ever felt limited in your abilities to do something you really wanted to pursue? Maybe it was an ambition you had, or an idea to start something. Perhaps it was an opportunity that came your way, but you weren’t able to take it because something held you back.

          Often, we’re unable to progress towards our goals because such obstacles stand in the way. We let our limitations stop or overshadow our abilities to see through to a goal.

          Yet, there’s one thing that we rarely think of to use when trying to overcome limitations.

          Creativity.

          What is Creativity?

          When I say creativity, I’m not talking about an innate talent. Creativity is a much needed, but often neglected, skill that everyone has! It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input.

          Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems.

          Everything, including brilliant inventions, cannot come from nothing; it all derives from some sort of inspiration. Creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.

          From this perspective, you can find creativity at play in many areas.

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          For example, Mark Zuckerburg rapidly became successful by taking the previously existing concept of social media, and combining it with an incredibly simple interface that appealed to a much wider audience. Uber and Lyft combined the idea of a traditional taxi service with an incredibly efficient smartphone app.

          Both of these examples connect different ideas, find common ground amongst the differences, and create a completely new idea out of them.

          That’s creativity in a nutshell, and anyone can improve theirs.

          Limitations are Actually Opportunities

          The advantage of using creativity, is to help you see limitations as opportunities. Take any limitation that you may find yourself facing, is there a way to look at things differently?

          Let me illustrate with an example.

          On the day of my son’s 5th birthday, my wife and I arranged a party for him at a children’s adventure park. His friends and family were all invited, and the plan was to have a long, fun day out to celebrate.

          However, the day didn’t go exactly as planned…

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          At Lifehack, we pride ourselves on a healthy work-life balance, so I wasn’t concerned about taking the day off to celebrate. But, on the big day, a call came through to my phone.

          It was a manager from Lifehack. He excitedly told me that a group of investors were quite interested in our business proposition, and were wanting to meet later that day.

          This was great news! A potential investment could be coming our way. But, I was already miles away from home and the office. Plus, it was my son’s birthday…

          I asked if I could call him back once we got settled into the park.

          To be honest, I was pretty certain I was not going to be able to make it. Asking to reschedule would be a risky request, but there was no way that I was going to miss my son’s party.

          My son could sense something was off, and he asked me what was wrong. So I let him know that I just received a call about a meeting today, but also told him not to worry as today was about celebrating his birthday.

          But like all kids, he continued questioning me…

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          “But daddy, is it important?”

          “No, of course not,” I bluffed.

          Then, with childlike intuition and creativity, he asked: “Can’t you just meet with them at the park?”

          And, then it struck me! This was the idea that I was missing.

          Even though my son didn’t quite understand that it would not be possible for the investors to meet me at the park, it made sense for me to simply do a video call!

          I could miss 25 minutes of the party to do a quick call while the rest of the party walked through the aquarium. And, in the end, that was exactly what happened.

          I called back my teammate and asked him to briefly explain to the investors why I couldn’t be there in person to meet, but would be happy to join via video. I took the call, and was able to spend the rest of the day at the park with my son.

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          Not only did my son enjoy his birthday, his simple idea led to a successful investment meeting that allowed us to get funding for a new project.

          This is where I was able to turn a limitation into an opportunity that enabled me to reach my success.

          Creativity is One Key to Success

          When you use your creative ability to turn your limitations and setbacks into opportunities, you’ll find doors opening for you in areas you may have never imagined.

          Remember, your attitude is also important when it comes to achieving a goal, and tackling a setback or problem. That’s because a positive attitude transforms not just your mental state, but your physical and emotional well being. It is the key to lasting total transformation.

          Check out this article to learn more about how you can tune your attitude towards positivity.

          So, the next time you’re feeling limited by your abilities, setbacks or challenges, don’t give up. Really look at the situation, and see how you can leverage on your creativity to find an alternative solution.

          Featured photo credit: Photo by William Iven on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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