De-junk Your Mind
by: Annette Young
Can’t sleep? Can’t think straight? Too tired to function?
Trying to focus on your workload but can’t? It’s time to gain control and de-junk your mind!
In this day and age, it’s all too easy to be overwhelmed by the pressures of day to day living. Have a good look around you. Recognise those strained and tense expressions. Everybody is juggling their workloads, many people are tired, irritable and stressed and struggling to cope but some people have learned how to manage these pressures more readily and the answer is to keep your mind as calm and as organised as possible.
As a writer, I often have many projects on the go at any one time, these projects range from how-to articles, writing courses and books, and include many different subjects, ideas and creative images which are collated in my mind at any one time. On top of that, I teach creative writing at college too. One day I realised that my brain felt scrambled, I had complete overload, worse, I had so many ideas flowing through the creative channels that I could not concentrate on any particular one!
Some people struggle with ideas, my dilemma was the opposite, I had too many and worse, I completely lost my ability to wade through all of the information that was buzzing in my brain. My work suffered and my creative streak began to dry up, not good when you need to stand up in a class and inspire people to write.
I endured this for some weeks before resorting to my ‘de-clutter’ list system which I still use on a daily basis. The secret? To write down every idea or thought that is revolving around in my brain. This simple process has enabled me to bring order to chaos in a few simple steps and helped me to break that never ending cycle of confusion.
Here is an example of my list:
• Write lesson plans for college
• Write stress management course for Internet
• Research for article on herbal remedies
• Mark papers for students
• Send off query letter for article on insomnia
• Set up direct debit with bank
• Choose birthday present and card for friend.
• Prepare guest room
• Decorate porch
• Decorate bedroom
• Sort out unwanted household items for boot sale
• Food shopping
• Pay telephone bill
• Time to chill out
Once you have completed your list, read through it, it may be a surprise to know just how much you had revolving around in your mind. By seeing the list in black and white, it makes it easier to identify the important issues and be able to prioritise in an efficient manner. My list enabled me to see things clearly whilst my mind was just not capable of making any decisions whilst all of that information was stored there, so I ended up trying to complete all of my tasks and failing miserably.
Once you have written your list, number and prioritise it and systematically work your way through the points, you can then congratulate yourself. You have discovered the vital steps needed for you to be able to control the amount of information which bombards your brain on a routine basis.
Each time you complete something on your list, tick it, so that you can feel the sense of satisfaction from being back in control.
If you have many demands on your time, it would be very easy for you to become overwhelmed again. Keep a note of your ideas or thoughts on paper or you can keep a Dictaphone handy so that you can record your thoughts. Choose your tasks carefully and always prioritise, get the important or essential jobs out of the way first and this will eliminate the pressure from you.
Make sure you add relaxation time to your list too. With the important tasks out of the way, and with your mind freed up from all that clutter, you’ll not only have more time to indulge yourself but be able to feel the benefits of your free time a whole lot more.