As we live now, we have to deal with vast variety of thoughts throughout our daily routine. It does not really matter if those are thoughts about how to solve a problem in your job or private life, the list of items you are putting on your imaginary shopping list, or just random thoughts that come to your mind and take down your productivity or even your wellbeing. Read on to find out how I try to cope with this mind clutter and go about to clean my mind. In the past years I often came to the point where my head was so full with different thoughts, which made it impossible to concentrate on a single one. I knew that I had to change something.
As I began my research, I found a ton of information of how people were dealing with their stressful environment. Things like making a time table to plan your day, or divide your day into chunks where you deal with different problems. I tested these methods and found that they made my day even more stressful as I now not only had to think about the thoughts in my head but also about the time slots and chunks that I divided my day into.
This is why I wanted to get down to the basics of avoiding and relieving stress and a cluttered mind.
Deal with distractions
In my daily work I am being approached by different people throughout the day. People that need information about the current status of my work, asking for help or just want to chat. However little these distractions might be, they disrupt the flow of thought and therefore cripple your productivity.
Here are a few tips how you can avoid those distractions:
- Use Headphones You should wear headphones, even if you do not listen to music, people will think twice before talking to you. Headphones are an obvious sign that you do not want to be disturbed. If possible try to get noise cancelling ones, they even reduce the interference of noises around you.
- Avoid your desk If you cannot be found at your usual spot, people will also think twice before interrupting you. You can try to ask for a place at a client, or use otherwise unoccupied working places.
- Turn off E-Mail notifications You should disable all kinds of notifications that will try to get your attention away from your task. You can always go back and check on messages in a break.
Avoiding distractions will make it much easier for you to focus and consolidate your tasks. You will see that you can get things done!
Relax and recharge
Once every now and then your mind needs some time to relax in order to function efficiently, even more so if you are under constant stress. Unfortunately there is no universal recipe to regain your energy and you will have to find out what works best for yourself. I can just give you pointers what works for me:
- Sports A few months ago I stumbled across an article on the so called 7 minute workout. Since I did not have a lot of time to spare and still wanted to get some exercise, I included those 7 painful minutes into my schedule for every other day. It turned out to be a very good compensation to my work in front of the computer and I felt better and better after every set. When I felt all those nice benefits I moved from the 2 day schedule to a daily one. As I said before, you have to find out what kind of sport fits for you and where you best can get your head free.
- Hiking From all the travels I did so far, I found the trekking trips to be the most rewarding in terms of relaxing and recharging your mind. After one or two days of constant physical exhaustion I get to this point where there a no thoughts in my head and I am just enjoying the moment. If you can maintain this state for a few days, you will see your head and mind relax and full of energy once you are back from your trip.
- Cooking Preparing fresh food is one of the most relaxing things in my daily routine. I really like to cook and it does not really matter if it is just for myself or for a bunch of people. All the different tastes and smells are making it easy to just concentrate on the process of creation and the outcome is just as much rewarding.
- Meditation After I started the workout I described above, I wanted to also try other ways of recharging my mind and started to meditate two times a week. I found it very hard at first and I let myself be distracted too often. I then switched to yoga, which combines meditation with physical exercise and I got much better results. I am now feeling rejuvenated after every yoga session.
It is also very important to keep your recharging schedule. Do not become sloppy and find excuses to not do your exercise or your run. Now you can go out and find the perfect source of relaxation and energy for yourself.
I would love to hear what you do to get a free mind and regain your energy. Describe your way in the comments below!