Focus on Exactly What Needs Your Attention
Being overwhelmed and having a mental overload is plain crappy. This overload of thoughts produces symptoms that enable you to enjoy your work and sometimes, can even be a lack of motivation to get all the things you need done completed.
Learning how to clear your mind is a technique that will increase your focus on precisely what needs your attention at the moment, not only in your work, but also in your life. Simple questions like, “what do I need to get done today?” to the more broad question of “what is my true calling?” can all be pondered on better when you have a clear mind.
It’s typical for people, on a daily basis, to have an endless to-do list, a lot of business on their plate and be left with the feeling of being overloaded.
How do you clear your mind so that your brain isn’t cluttered? Here are 5 steps to get you started on clearing your mind so you can focus on the things that need attention the most.
1. What do you want to accomplish?
The first step in completing any task or goal is to define exactly what it is you need to get out of it, whether it’s your freelance business, daily tasks, or a grocery store visit. You need to sit down and ask yourself “what do I need or want to accomplish?” and write the details down.
It doesn’t matter what the motivation behind it is, whether it’s to feel accomplished, earn money, or if it’s your life goal. Basically, you need to know why you’re doing what you’re doing to ever get to where you want to go. By explaining to yourself why or where you want to be, will give you the clarity you need to get there.
2. Make a list
The second step, after deciding what your goal is, is to write a list of ways to accomplish this goal. One helpful tip is to use the 80-20 Rule: You basically write down 20% of your tasks that will help you to achieve 80% of your goals. This method has been proven to be very effective.
Try and maintain this list to be as specific as you can possibly make it. The clearer you are, the more your mind will feel at ease. Overall, this is a way to get the thoughts out of your mind and onto paper, so your mind doesn’t have to keep wondering about it.
Here are a few brief examples:
- Don’t: get more clients, make more income
Do: gain two new clients per month, increase my freelance income by $1,000
- Don’t: get better at designing
Do: learn a specific design technique to better my designs
- Don’t: increase my website’s traffic
Do: Perform tasks 1 and 2, every other day, every week for x amount of hours
3. Write down a list of things that you’ve been doing that are unnecessary
Step three can be daunting since most of us think that the things we do are all necessary. However, if you can sit down and really put some thought into your daily routine, and find areas that are necessary, it can help you tremendously. Tasks that can be labeled as unnecessary are those that seem to be important but actually hold little to no importance when trying to get the things done that you need to do.
It’s important, when developing this list, to be completely brutally honest with yourself. If you’re not honest, these simple things can hold you back greatly. A major aspect to clearing your mind is to be effective, not only productive. If you have trouble making this list, take the 80-20 Rule to help you, write down 80% of tasks that are not necessary and that only help with 20% of your desired accomplishments.
The main goal of this step is to see where you can give yourself more leeway to do other goal-oriented tasks all the while, clearing up more of your mind. Sometimes these tasks are quite small and go unnoticed until you write them down.
4. Perform the essentials
Now is the time to really put the 80-20 Rule into your plan. Taking your list from step 2, complete each of those tasks and stop! These are the tasks that will help you accomplish your clearly stated goal from step 1. This is also where you STOP doing the things you listed from Step 3.
It may be hard to completely quit the things you listed from step 3, but you have to try, and even if you stop doing one-to-two things at a time, it will help. Face it, we’re all human and life is a total learning experience. The best way to do anything, I have learned, is step-by-step. Start with the smaller things and work your way up, I know it will help you and it will give you encouragement to keep going.
5. Now your mind is clearer, better enjoy it!
If you’re using step 4 (which is implementing steps 1-3) you’re on your way to doing less in a day but seeing the same or more results, which therefore, will help you to clear your mind and be able to focus on the things that really need attention.
You are now being not only productive but effective.
Since you’ve made these lists, defined your goals and are doing away with the unnecessary, you’ll have more time to focus on what needs to be focused on and you’ll be able to enjoy it. When your mind is clear and you’re able to provide attention, other areas of interest will start to be important such as:
- Finding ways to do more of the work you love
- Improve and expand your business
- More time for your ideas that have been put on the back burner
- Learning how to live out the lifestyle you really want
- And other things you feel are important
Clearing the Mind in 5 Steps
Much of this technique will be better maximized through trial and error. You must consistently stick with it. To wrap it up, here’s how to clear your mind:
1. Define precisely what you want to accomplish
2. Write down the tasks that will help you to succeed your goal
3. Write down everything you’re doing that is unnecessary
4. Begin by performing only the essentials
5. Enjoy a free and clear mind!
Have you ever been one to have trouble in clearing your own mind? Do you have any techniques, helpful tips or tools that help to do so? Please share!