It’s the time of year when we’re decluttering as a way to “start fresh” in a new year. But it’s not just “stuff” that needs to be cleared out; mental and emotional overload can slowly clog our inner space. It’s important to eliminate the non-essential baggage we carry around. If we don’t, staying focused, productive, and motivated can become challenging.
Here are some simple, effective ways to help you clear away all the mess that takes up mental real estate and slows you down.
Without goals, what do we achieve? It’s essential to set some goals and prioritize the efforts around them. First, establish what things matter the most to you. What are some short-term and long-term tasks that will get you closer to the Finish Line?
Keep your list realistic and, more importantly, attainable (that will keep you motivated). Make sure that the decisions you make on a daily basis reflect those goals. Once that’s done, create an action plan to help you reach them; work out how you’ll divide your time to focus on each item.
Priorities can change and that’s fine. However, touch base with yourself from time to time to ensure that the priorities you’ve made are still serving you.
Use A Journal
Journaling is an excellent way to relax and quiet the mind. Using a journal can help us analyze and organize our thoughts. Expressive writing can help eliminate intrusive thoughts and helps improve our working memory. We are literally freeing up space in our minds when we write things out.
Let It Go
Learning to “let go” can be a daunting task. However, it’s crucial that we accept ourselves as we keep moving forward. When we release or eliminate outdated thoughts and fears, it reduces stress, free up mental space, and boosts your self-esteem. When negative nonsense pops up, work on replacing it with something positive.
At times, multitasking can help us get more done; it might seem counterproductive to avoid it. However, working on an essay, updating social media posts, and searching for the perfect gift all at the same time isn’t helping anyone.
There’s no harm in occasional multitasking. Still, constantly jumping between various tasks limits our attention span, creates additional mental clutter, and increases stress. Stanford University published a study revealing that heavy multitasking lowers efficiency and impairs our cognitive control. “Single-task” more and focus on keeping a steady flow.
Deep breathing exercises lower heart rate, blood pressure and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (which helps us relax). You can find some stress relief when practicing breathing techniques, as well as elevating your concentration and boosting the immune system.
Here’s one to try: inhale deeply, pause and hold it; then exhale slowly and steadily. Repeat several times to help clear your mind and calm emotions.
The methods listed above are simple but can have quite an impact in freeing up energy and attitude and helping you achieve your goals more easily. So, drop that baggage and get ready to soar!