I have been unusually passive the last few weeks in everything I am doing, and I took step back to see what is causing this.
You might experience something similar; you might call it writer's block (although that is just a bogus excuse), or any other feeling around being stuck in the middle and not knowing what is next.
So, what is the best way to find footing again? Probably writing about it to get it off my chest I guess... What is the best way to declutter your mind than to get back on track?
Here we go:
1) Writing about it
I already mentioned that writing about something helps to structure it, deal with it and become clear about your goals. This is kind of a meta-post where I try to fix my current state by writing about just how to help to get out of it. (I will tell you if it works, but since I am writing right now, it might just do the trick).
Sometimes you are overwhelmed, everything is chaotic, and you just won't find a break. That is fine, just tackle things one at a time. In very bad cases I can write a whole A4 page down on tasks (around 40 individual tasks), and I feel better just writing them down. You prioritize them and start by doing the first three that usually take 5 - 15 minutes each. There you go, you made the first move and got something done, the rest should be easy. Find momentum in little things that get you going, writing them down helps to reset your mind and get an overview of everything that needs to be done.
2) Clean your apartment/house/office
Cleaning can be fun if you are doing it for the right reasons! Sometimes your mind is just like a cluttered room that you have to clean to get on. The process of actually cleaning a room can help your brain to make the transition.
Mundane tasks help your brain to "space out" and think while you are focused doing something else. When you listen to music during this activity time just flies by, and your brain can come up with solutions on its own. Just think of those "Eureka" moments in the shower, cleaning can help you get there.
3) Turn off your phone
Being always online has its benefits but also tremendous negative sides. Trying to get a clear head but people from 15 chats are spamming simultaneously? Well, you would do good to turn off your phone or at least enter plane mode so that no distraction can arise.
Once you calm down for 10-20 minutes without distraction, you can tackle your problems in a focused state. It is also great to turn off email notifications at work when you have to concentrate on one task. Everything that distracts you from your flow should be eliminated.
4) Go for a walk
Especially in spring, the weather is wonderful to get some fresh air and enjoy some peace in nature. Even for a lunch break at work, walking outside gives you new energy, distance from any electronic device and helps to get your brain into "do mode."
There are also many health benefits, but you probably know that already.
5) Talk to others/delegate
Sometimes you just need to tell another person about your troubles to get an idea on how to fix them. Other times it is helpful to have colleagues who can help you when you are overwhelmed or just need help to get something done. Don't feel about asking for help; we are social animals, we usually love to help one another out. As long as your request is genuine and you are thankful you probably won't get negative feedback. Of course, if the other person is swamped as well, you might have bad luck, or you could trade tasks because you might be faster at something or better at it than your colleague and vice versa. That is the beauty of it.
I would like to leave you with these five quick thoughts on how to declutter and to move forward. Certainly, I got over my initial block by writing about it so that you can do it too.
Let me know what are you doing to declutter a busy mind in the comments below.
As always, thanks, fo reading and have a great week!