Mind Clutter results in lost time, frustration, reduced effectiveness and diminished productivity.
Ever approached your work with the thought, “I have so much to do, I don’t know where to start”?
One of the first things I suggest is a “Mind Clearing.” Let the mind relax by capturing all the To-Dos on paper. If some items are like tangled webs, the use of a project-action plan or a white board can untangle them.
Relief is almost immediate, because the mind has space to think and process what is important. Even if you are not in control of the projects you’re assigned, making the To-Do List can be calming. Suddenly there is clear space, freedom to think. This leads to deciding what is most important and to making a step-by-step plan to get it done.
Put work you are concerned about on your calendar even if it is scheduled out several months. Unfinished projects contribute to our mental clutter.
Time management specialist David Allen says: “It is not that we have too much to do. We have too many things left unfinished.”
Creating focus time is a way to get projects done and eliminated from your To-Do List. Do you work best focused for long periods on one project or do you do best with variety in your day?
You can do in 15 minutes what will take you an hour with interruption, so build into your schedule an
uninterrupted hour to focus on a project.
Here are some ways to make sure that hour is uninterrupted:
– Explain to others why you are letting voicemail answer your calls.
– Move to another space, for example, an empty conference room.
– Put a sign on your door that says “Working on a project. I will be available at 11:00.”
– Turn off the email notification and your phone.
An hour of focus on a task/project allows you to stretch your prime time and complete projects. This will have a tremendous effect on eliminating mind clutter. An added benefit could be that you get work done that you normally come in early or on Saturday to do.
Grab a sheet of paper, a whiteboard or your favorite electronic tool to do the Mind Clearing.
Next look at your calendar and schedule some blocks of focus time.
Taking these steps will reduce your mind clutter, leaving you clearheaded and moving forward to accomplish your goals.