Clear the Deck: Spring Clean Your Brain
It’s time to dive into spring with gusto, and for me that means a little spring cleaning over the next month. Cleaning the deck off and preparing it for dinners and morning coffee. Cleaning behind the fridge. And yes, cleaning windows.
My mind is often overflowing with ideas and to do’s. That’s why I know that in addition to household cleaning, I also need to spring clean my brain a little!
Let’s be real here. Just like you, I have big dreams and goals. I also have a business to run and daily tasks to attend.
I have regular content to write for this blog and my newsletter as well as articles for Your Tango. There are two or three eBooks I’d like to prepare for future giveaways. I’m also digging into my book, the one I want to publish. Add that to ideas for recipes, household tasks and wanting to get in better shape, and it’s no wonder my mind is often full!
So, how is the best way to stay afloat? To not give into overwhelm? To make sure my long term goals and desires aren’t over run with the basics of running my business?
I regularly do a brain dump to spring clean my mind.
If you’ve taken my Clearing Brain Clutter class or have worked with me, I’m sure you’ve heard me use that term before. Just like the windows of the house need to be cleaned and closets de-cluttered, I also need to regularly spring clean my brain.
Here’s what you need: a stack of 3×5 cards, a pen and an egg timer.
Step One: Completely Unplug
Turn off your phone and computer. No one will perish if you don’t immediately reply to an email or return a text. And no, darling, you won’t go into withdrawals if you aren’t glued to Facebook for a short while.
Step Two: Set the Timer for 5 Minutes. Then. Just Write.
Write down every thought that comes in your head. Just put one thought per index card and keep on going. This isn’t the time to be organized or analyze, it’s just about emptying your head of all the thoughts colliding around! WRITE until the timer goes off OR your mind goes blank.
Step Three: Walk Away.
Leave that beautiful stack of thoughts on your desk, and take a break. Go ahead and check your Facebook feed and turn your phone back on. Go for a walk. Read a magazine. Everything that’s been rattling around in your head is in a safe place. Hooray!
Step Four: Organize Your Thoughts
After you’ve had a moment (or hour) away from your stack of thoughts, go back to your cards and begin to organize them into areas. Every person is different, but for me personally, I usually have stacks for errands, business to-dos, personal correspondence, writing topics, and utter randomness.
Step Five: Evaluate Honestly
Take a real hard look at your cards. If there are any kinds of worries or things that are outside your control, set those aside. You probably will also have cards that, well, frankly, aren’t important and could probably be delegated to someone else (or simply not done). And, of course, there will be traces of your big dreams and goals, which are super important.
Organize them by area of life (work, errands, household, writing ideas, etc). This is usually how I build my weekly to-do list as well as how I break down bigger projects.
So…what to do with those things plaguing your mind that aren’t really under your control? (Things like an aging parent’s health). Pray or meditate over them, acknowledge you can’t affect it by worrying, and let it go.
And those things that aren’t important? Oh, baby: take pleasure in tearing those cards up and tossing them!
Darling, life is way too short to spend it worrying. Instead, focus on what matters by clearing those colliding thoughts. Like physical clutter, mental clutter can accumulate quickly, so it’s important to repeat this process often. Isn’t a little space in your brain worth the fifteen minutes or less it takes to clean it?
You deserve to live a daily life that you love. Sometimes, you just have to get the mental clutter our of your head.
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