We constantly see articles about how to organize your desk or your pantry or your planner. But what about organizing your mind? I’m sure most of you have realized by now that an organized mind is a far more productive mind. In this blog post, I’m sharing a few tips to help you achieve a more organized mind.
Use Brain Dumps
One of the biggest and most obvious reasons for a cluttered, disorganized mind is simply holding too much in it. When you’re making “mental notes” for yourself all day, eventually you have to move those to paper or risk forgetting them. Every morning when I get to work, I like to sit down and do a big brain dump of all the things I can think of that I need to get done that day. That way, when I start working, I can give each task my sole focus instead of having it wander to the rest of my projects for the day. Keeping a paper or digital to-do list is always better than a mental one.
Keep a Planner
As I mentioned above, you can only keep so many things at top of mind. I spend a lot of my weekends visiting friends and family. Before keeping a planner, I was constantly trying to wrack my brain to remember what plans I had made when. Writing plans down in a planner as soon as they’re made is just essential for me.
Keep an Organized Workspace
Having a disorganized workspace is really stressful for me, and I definitely notice my productivity go downhill. It’s not just my workspace either. Having any room in our house cluttered is likely to weigh on my mind and stress me out until it’s taken care of. I definitely wasn’t always that way and used to be super messy, but these days my brain just can’t handle it!
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Process and Plan Before You React
When it comes to presenting information or responding to a loaded question, my mind is definitely one that needs time to process and plan. In school, while I was always great at outlining presentations if I had the time necessary, I always struggled with the impromptu ones because I just didn’t have time to organize my mind and my thoughts. Now, this is something I try to do whenever possible.
Sometimes when I have to have a difficult conversation and I’m having trouble articulating my thoughts, I’ll take a few minutes to write them down.
This is something I’ve touched on several times on this blog, but multi-tasking is rarely the answer! I think many people think multitasking allows them to be more productive, but the opposite is actually true. As much as we would like to, our mind simply can’t fully focus on two things at once. That means that something (or both things) isn’t getting the attention it deserves.
I did write a blog post that talks about when it is okay to multi-task, but in general put it on the NO list.
Take Mental Breaks
Regardless of what I’m doing, it seems like I’m constantly planning something, mentally outlining something, or thinking of things I have to get done. Between the blog and the full-time job, it’s hard to turn it off. I definitely like to give myself mental breaks where I close the laptop and turn on Netflix and just let my mind tune everything else out for a while.
I also really like to do this with reading fiction because it’s super easy for me to get so engrossed in a book that I can ignore everything else.
How do you keep an organized mind?