6 Ways To Declutter Your Mind
I can’t stress the importance of having a clear mind. You are far more likely to make consistent progress if you know exactly where you are going and how you’re going to get there. The biggest obstructions to moving forward are confusion and frustration, and if you are living with a cluttered mind in a cluttered environment you are sure to feel frustrated and confused A LOT.
That’s why I regularly take action to ensure my life is as clear and minimalist as possible, both mentally and physically. It just comes down to enhancing my level of efficiency and simplicity consistently. I try to declutter and automate my life that little bit more whenever I have the free time. And sometimes when I feel overwhelmed with work I tend to take a break to clear up my working space or my virtual space (computer, documents etc.).
This ritual just puts me in a sort of zen state. I always feel like my path has cleared and the future seems a lot more exciting and certain whenever I declutter. Here’s how I declutter my life and how it improves my productivity/efficiency and most importantly my state of mind.
Clean and Tidy
This is the most basic form of decluttering, but it can seriously improve your state of mind. Every few weeks I get to the point where my living and working environment becomes messy due to sheer laziness. Dirty clothes get piled up, books and notes lie around my office, my car gets cluttered, et cetera. Taking an hour or two to put everything back in its place and clear up any clutter really does clear your mind.
When everything is in its place and there is zero clutter in my house there are no distractions and I seem to get on with work so much easier. I also think on a much more creative spectrum when my environment is as minimalist as possible. Ideas just seem to come to me much easier which means my business benefits as well as my mood.
From Mind to Paper
Empty your mind of ideas and nagging tasks. Write down all your ideas on one list and all those tasks onto a to-do list. Then prioritize that to-do list with the most pressing matters and the highest results-yielding tasks. Firstly, do all the pressing tasks to reduce stress and frustration. Once those are out of the way you can focus on the results oriented tasks and the ideas. These are the sorts of things you should be spending your time doing because they will make the most progress.
You’ve got to get into the habit of doing menial tasks before they become pressing matters (i.e. replying to emails, paying bills etc.) and spending the bulk of your time on the high leverage and creative stuff. This will put you in the position of a business owner rather than a business operator. You’ve got to be the leader because you’ll never make progress if your time is spent doing rather than building – which leads me to my next point.
Automate and Delegate
We live in a world where technology allows us to create a level of efficiency so powerful that we can we can virtually automate everything apart from our own creativity. Along with that we can leverage people to automate our lives. If you get caught up doing rather than building its time to automate and delegate. Start with your virtual life. Ensure all your devices are synced and backed up so all your documents, notes and calendars are available on any device you own.
Automate as many online tasks as possible; I use an online app called IFTTT (If This Then That) which is basically a way of getting your apps and devices to communicate with each other. If you run an online business this tool is vital in saving time posting to blogs and social media. You can also automate your smart devices; there’s even a ‘recipe’ (recipes are the things you set up to automate a process) to get your coffee machine to make a coffee when your alarm goes off in the morning. Pretty crazy stuff.
Whatever can’t be done by a computer, you can delegate to virtual assistants (VAs) or employees in person. Automate as much of your non-professional life as possible/affordable. Things like cleaning, cooking, car washing, paying bills, making appointments, can all be delegated to personal assistants. And any menial (or more complex if you have a good VA that you trust) online tasks can be delegated to VAs. Things like social media management, emailing, website maintenance, market research, content creation… the list goes on. The more you delegate, the more you can focus on what really matters. Delegating creates the highest form of clarity there is: the clarity of priorities. No menial tasks to take up your time and brain power, only the results producing work.
Your media intake decides what you think about, meaning consuming irrelevant information 24/7 will only clutter your mind and lead to confusion and inefficiency of the mind. Take the time to declutter your social media timelines, your email inbox and what you watch on TV and the internet. I recently unsubscribed to any YouTube channel that wasn’t related to self-improvement/business and it meant I now only intake important information. It means I’m constantly coming up with new ideas that I can implement in my business and my spiritual/physical life.
Create a Schedule and Stick to it
You need structure to make progress. No one got a ripped body by going to the gym a couple times a week when they could fit it in. No one built a successful business by working a few hours here and there when they weren’t busy doing something else. Make a daily/weekly schedule of when you’re going to work, when you’re going to the gym, when you’re pursuing other hobbies, when you’re spending time with family/friends/ et cetera.
Creating a simple schedule means you know exactly what you’re going to do and when. This makes planning ahead so much easier and means you make consistent progress each day without rushing around trying to fit everything in and being highly unproductive because of it.
Other things to declutter could be: Your wardrobe – get rid of all the stuff you don’t wear/doesn’t fit you and give it to charity/sell it (be ruthless, a shirt you love but is too small for you is of no practical use). Any bills/subscriptions you don’t require any more – get rid of the stuff you don’t need and save money at the same time! Material items – things like books, toys, technology you don’t use can all be sold or given to charity (save time by getting a VA to put them on eBay for you ;). Streamline your material life to only the stuff you really need and a few things you just like having. Material items may make you happy when buying them but trust me, it doesn’t last. The more you buy the more you want – being grateful of what you have is a far more effective way of staying happy. Happiness comes from your mind state (clarity from decluttering), your success in what you’re passionate about (you’ll achieve far more professional success if you’re efficient), and relationships. You really don’t need a lot of stuff. You need minimalism and clarity.