Whenever I notice a theme among my clients, I know it’s a sign that it’s time to write a blog post about it! Do you ever feel like your mind is cluttered and that it keeps you stuck from moving forward?
What I’ve been noticing is how easily our mind can get cluttered when we have too much “stuff” in our lives. And when our minds get cluttered, our energy wanes, and our businesses tend to suffer for it and we tend to suffer along side it. When we feel too full, we aren’t serving ourselves, our clients or our families. When we unclutter our space and our lives, the space we create gives us a lot more energy to do what is most important to us. I also find that when I “clear the clutter”, some of my best ideas have come in – ideas that were probably there all along ready to come in, but didn’t have the space to do it. Here are 8 ways you can clear your cluttered mind so you can get back into the flow in your life and your business!
1) Take a Walk. Before working on any project for your business that takes creative energy, take a walk and marinate on the project as you walk (I will often give myself an inquiry like “what would make this blog post really shine?”). The act of walking activates the right and left brain and you often will come up with a ton of creative ideas (right brain) as well as a clear path on how to do it (left brain). If you find your mind wandering, simply go back to your intention or inquiry. You may even want to bring your smartphone so if a brilliant idea comes in, you can make a quick audio recording.
2) Clean off your desk every morning (or night) and write down your top priorities for the day. This helps you start with clear intention for the day and inspires you for the day ahead. And, yes, you will feel much more at ease with a clean desk. This means get rid of those piles of papers by filing them away if you need them or shredding them if you don’t.
3) Pick designated time to read your email and look at social media – and use times in the day that aren’t peak energy times. So many people waste time and energy on email and social media. And the more you read and write, the more you receive. Not only is this a distraction from more important things, it also can be energetically draining. Designate a few times a day to respond to email – once in the morning and once in the afternoon. And turn off your email notifications – especially if you are working on a project, as they can be hugely distracting and take you off task both mentally and energetically.
4) Create a time budget. Instead of keeping a long To-Do List, put the majority of your To-Do’s right into your calendar with a designated time to work on them, especially if you are working on things that take a lot of energy. Most of us do the “easy” things on our To-Do list and by the time we get around to the important things, we are running on a near empty gas tank. This insures you work on important items when you are still operating on a full tank.
5) Clean out your closets and your “junk” drawer at least every 6 months. If you haven’t worn or used an item in a year then it’s time to give it a new home. It is AMAZING how much energetic space this activity frees up. I had a client that just did this and when she was telling me about the experience, she was the most vibrant I had seen her in months. Her clutter was bogging her down.
6) Get really clean and clear about your boundaries. Most of us that have really full lives really need to prioritize what we say “yes” to and what we say “no” to. I always ask myself the question “If I say “yes” to this, will this get me closer or farther from what I REALLY want?” and “Is this the best use of my time, energy and money?”. If it isn’t a resounding “yes” to those questions, I will pass. I know that some people think that if an opportunity comes our way, then maybe that means I am supposed to do it. I beg to differ. I think that we are given opportunities to test ourselves and to learn and grow about what is really important to us. When we get good about saying “no” to things that aren’t right for us, it clears the way for the GREAT stuff to come in.
7) Designate time in your calendar to work “on” the business vs. “in” the business. I recommend that all entrepreneurs that want to grow their business should block out at least 20% of their time (1 full day or two half days) to working “on” the business. “On” the business means strategic projects – such as working on business development, working on curriculum, working on a new product or service launch, and meeting with potential or existing strategic partners.
8) Create “Zero Screen Time” boundaries in your life. Being connected has great benefits for our businesses and technology has helped us do that in ways that we didn’t even think were possible twenty years ago. However, it also has created an atmosphere in many of our lives where we never “turn off”. Recently, I went to Maine and didn’t look at a TV, a computer, or an email for 5 days. I was relaxed and engaged with my family and I felt completely refreshed and renewed for a very short vacation (especially considering the 14 hours of travel each way). I recommend that my clients occasionally have “zero screen time” weekends or evenings to help them connect into themselves and their community in an old-fashioned way. It also gives us more of that energetic space that allows our creativity and inspiration to flow through.
You needn’t implement all of the above strategies to make an impact. Even implementing one of these strategies could make a significant difference. Pick one or two that you resonate with the most and try them out. Let me know how it goes for you! Let me know if it helps you feel more present and clear, and how that impacts your life and business!