Mental clarity: the value of reducing mental clutter and distractions
For a long time, I felt like I was the only one that dealt with the lack of mental clarity, but I’ve learned I’m not the only one. So I’m sure there are others like me who’ve felt the burden of undone tasks, distracting things, important decisions, catastrophic events, or any other thing that keeps us from thinking clearly and staying focused and on task.
This is all mental clutter, the stuff keeps us from getting things done, from staying focused, from moving forward.
What makes up mental clutter
For me, it was things like client projects that were dragging along way longer than they should. Or when something popped up that needed my attention right away, even though I knew there was client work I needed to be doing instead.
Or tasks on my to-do list that have been there for a while. They’re important, and sometimes pressing, but I just don’t do them or can’t get to them in enough time before they become urgent.
Or when my house is a disaster and there’s stuff everywhere because I’ve been so busy for two weeks straight and couldn’t clean things up.
Or when there’s an important event or decision coming up that I just really don’t know what to do or what to decide, and tend to obsess over it every hour of every day.
All of these things cause mental clutter for me, and I’m sure they do for you as well. Mental clutter keeps me from being 100% focused on the task at hand. Mental clutter keeps me from thinking clearly and being 100% present. They weigh on me like an extremely heavy backpack full of books. They wear me down, cause me to drag along, and overall cause unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Have you ever completed a task on your to-do list that’s been there for a while? How did you feel afterward? Did you feel like a massive weight was lifted off your shoulders? Did you breathe easier? Did your mind start clearing up and you’re thinking more clearly than you had before?
Then you’ve experienced mental clutter, followed by mental clarity.
Mental clarity – when you’re able to get whatever is nagging at you, weighing you down, or otherwise distracting you, off of you.
You no longer feel burdened or weighed down. A sense of accomplishment and/or ease is felt after the clutter is gone. It no longer weights heavily on your mind. You breathe a bit easier and your mood starts to change slightly.
It’s hard to achieve mental clarity with so many things we need to get done, so many projects that go half completed, and so many distractions around us. With so many things that clutter us mentally, it’s no wonder we can’t get anything done with the speed, accuracy, and the results we are striving for. We stay stressed way more and for longer periods and we are becoming less happy and moodier.
Over the last year and even more so over the last five months, I’ve been trying to do whatever I could to get rid of some of the mental clutter cobwebs.
I’ve been trying to get outstanding projects completed, both in my business and personal lives.
I’ve been making decisions on to-do list items, determining if they are really worth my time and energy.
I’ve narrowed down my to-do list to things I feel like I can accomplish in the next couple of days.
I’ve gone through and cleaned up around me and organized things so that the clutter around me no longer caused a distraction or this nagging feeling of “I have to get that done right now.”
I’ve got work to do in making it a practice of getting rid of the mental clutter (I’m not sure it can ever be 100% gone), but boy, do I feel better than I used to now that I’m gaining some mental clarity back.
The value of mental clarity
The value of mental clarity, particularly to those who work for themselves, is immensely powerful when achieved.
Mental clarity helps you stay more focused and get more productive work done instead of scrolling through social media feeds all day.
It can help you feel more relaxed, less stressed, and reduce your anxiety.
It can change your mood over long periods of time, making you happier, more appreciative, and more optimistic.
It can also help you feel more in control of the environment around you. It will make you feel less like things are out of control and out of line.
Who can benefit from mental clarity
Although this applies to anyone, those of us who work for ourselves feel the burden of mental clutter more. We are always having things we need to do added to our list. We have projects that go way longer than they should. Important and critical decisions have to be made.
It means those of us who work for ourselves have to work that much harder to achieve mental clarity. We have to appreciate it once we’ve felt it and to strive for more moments of mental clarity.
Striving for mental clarity is something that all of us can and should strive for. Even if it is just one thing here and there. If for nothing else to help our stress and become more productive. Learn to strive for and appreciate the clarity and feeling of having less on your plate.