Post Updated on December 27, 2019
Ever feel like your brain is on overload? Like you can’t think clearly or make decisions easily? Stuck in circles going nowhere? If so, you might be dealing with a serious case of mental clutter.
What exactly is mental clutter? Well, my friend, mental clutter is when you have so many ideas and thoughts floating around in your head that you have trouble thinking clearly and making decisions.
If you’re anything like me, you tend to get overwhelmed on a daily basis. There’s just so much to do and not enough time to make it happen. The trouble is that we often perceive things as worse than they are because we keep thinking about them instead of taking action to solve our problems. When this happens, you know it’s time for a little mental detox.
Just as we declutter our homes and physical spaces, it’s also important to declutter your mind. When we free up some headspace, we’re able to feel calmer, think more clearly, and stay focused on our next move (whether it’s a life-changing decision or a small to-do list item).
In this post, I’m sharing five ideas to help you deal with mental clutter, reduce decision fatigue, and give yourself some headspace!
5 Ways To Declutter Your Mind
Watch the video here or read the full post below!
1. Get clear on your priorities
Reduce decision fatigue by getting clear on what’s important to you. Maybe it’s family, friends, and work. Maybe it’s self-care, creativity, and comfort. Like the great Leslie Knope once said, “We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter, but work is third.”
Whatever your priorities are, use them to help you make decisions and eliminate the mental clutter that comes from trying to decide what to focus on.
Related Post: How To Figure Out Your Priorities
2. If it’s not a clear yes, it’s a no
One of the greatest quotes that has been instilled in my brain since I read it is this one by Gregory McKeown in his (incredible) book, Essentialism:
If it isn’t a clear yes, it’s a clear no.
This may seem like a ruthless way to make decisions, especially since eliminating all of the ‘maybes’ from our lives might actually limit our opportunities. But if you are someone who spends *way too much* time trying to make decisions, try listening to whether your intuition is telling you if something is a yes or a no. For example, try this method when you’re deciding whether to keep an item of clothing, buying something new, or accepting an invitation to an event.
Related Post: Planning vs. Flowing: How To Find The Right Balance
3. Create a system for ideas
Let’s say that your beautiful, amazing brain is filled to the brim with ideas. You have SO many ideas and thoughts and dreams that you don’t know what to do with them. They’re overwhelming you more than helping you. What can you do to make sure you save all of that goodness but still make room for some headspace? Start by creating a system for storing your ideas. Whether you store them in Evernote, a physical notebook, Google Drive, or the notes app of your phone, stick to one place where you will always know where to find them. The next time an idea pops into your head, save it to your dedicated place right away.
4. Consume information mindfully
Because of the amount of time we spend online, we end up consuming a lot of new information on a daily basis. Some of it is useful, but a lot of it simply clutters our brains with unnecessary details. Of course it’s important to constantly learn new things, but it’s more important to put that information to good use. If you learn something new, avoid letting it clutter up your brain by telling someone about it, writing about it in a blog post or journal, or storing it in your ideas folder (see the previous tip).
Related Post: How I Survived A Month With Only One Browser Tab Open
5. Don’t be afraid to let go
Give your brain some space by freeing it up regularly. Be willing to let go and not react to every little idea or thought you have, and make time in your schedule to get rid of whatever’s cluttering up your mind. Most nights, I’ll make a list of everything that’s floating around in my head (often called a brain dump), and I find this helps me sleep better and wake up with a clearer mind.
Related Post: How To Start Your Day With Clarity And Focus
How do you deal with mental clutter?
I hope these five tips have helped you figure out how to free up some space in your head. After all, your mind is a brilliant place, and it deserves a little breathing room!