Worries, fears, and errant thoughts can get the best of any of us at times. When your mind feels overwhelmed and cluttered, try this procedure for regaining focus and clarity.
Over at Quora, user Jim Stone suggests a five-step method for clearing your mind. The first step involves writing down everything that's on your mind on a blank sheet of paper. Second, take out another sheet of paper and create three columns: "active concern," "maybe later," and "delete." Organise every item on the first sheet into one of these three categories. From there, here's what Stone suggests:
- Delete all the items in the delete column. Tell each item, one by one, that you're done with them, and that they should go away and never come back.
- Take the items from the "maybe later" column and put them on your "maybe later" list. (If you don't keep a "maybe later" list, start one.)
- Take the items from the "active concern" column and put them into your planning system. (If you don't have a planning system, then get one.)
This is sort of like a brain dump, but possibly even better because it involves actually processing all the stuff on your mind, at least a little. It helps you let go of the stuff that doesn't really matter. For the stuff that does matter, writing it down helps to get it out of your head and keep it from distracting you for the time being. For more on this method, head to the links below.