I hate when I forget an appointment or don’t follow up with somebody. It makes me look like a flake and that’s the last thing I want people to think of when they hear my name.
It’s also very frustrating when I don’t have the energy for things I want to do and feel overwhelmed just thinking about anything fun.
Have you ever felt that way? Are you forgetting things and feeling overwhelmed? Do these feelings lead you to turning down invitations and opportunities you would actually like to accept?
You may have a cluttered mind. Just like physical clutter mental clutter can overwhelm and paralyze us. But the good news is you can always declutter! So let’s talk about 3 signs of a cluttered mind and 10 easy solutions!
One of the Signs of a Cluttered Mind is Decision Fatigue
Have you ever stood in front of your open fridge door like a penguin in a blizzard? Are you frustrated when you try to pick out your clothes for each day? Do you wind up picking up fast food way too often cause you can’t decide what to make?
All of these behaviors are a sign of decision fatigue. You are literally tired of making decisions and your brain shuts down in overwhelm. This leads to poor decisions you later regret and probably a few grouchy words towards your family.
While you can simplify your options with the minimalist lifestyle to reduce decision fatigue you may still face it if your mind is too cluttered.
Mental Clutter Will Make You Feel Overwhelmed
Another one of the signs of a cluttered mind is that feeling of overwhelm you have when ANYTHING is mentioned.
I know this is something I tend to struggle with. My husband comes home from work full of fun ideas of things to do on the weekend and my mind is so full I just want to say no to all of it, even though I would probably enjoy those things.
When you find yourself closing yourself off from anything “extra” you might have mental clutter you need to clear out before you can actually enjoy your life.
You Forget Things in All That Mind Clutter
Think about the times you have forgotten an appointment or not gotten back to someone when you said you would. Why did that happen?
I bet it was because you “had other things on your mind”.
We are all juggling a million things including work, chores, health, and our family. It is very easy to have way too much on our mind. Imagine all those things on your mind as actual physical objects. If they are all a big piled up mess it’s no wonder you can’t find what you need when you need it and you forget things you swore you would remember!
Being forgetful is one of the signs of a cluttered mind that we need to fix because no one wants to be a flake.
Fix All These Signs of a Cluttered Mind
Now that we know the signs of a cluttered mind it’s probably pretty easy to diagnose ourselves.
If you are like me you are realizing that there is a lot of mental clutter you need to clear up. But what does a mental declutter look like? What are some habits we can create that will help us stay on top of our mental decluttering?
Let’s find out!
1: Take a Break From Your Screen
I know you are sick and tired of hearing this but you are going to have to take a break from your screen sometime. And yes, I’m totally a hypocrite. I have just as hard a time putting my phone down as anyone else.
However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the ramifications. We take in so much information on our screens, sometimes in 30 second increments that shrink our attention span. Is there any wonder that we are feeling a mental overload?
In the first 5 minutes that we are awake many of us check our e-mail, the weather, the news, and social media. 20 years ago we would have had to walk to the mail box, had the TV on for an hour, and gone to a get together to get that kind of input!
Just experiment with a little less screen time and you will probably find your mental clutter diminishing quite a bit!
2: Use a Planner
Another great way to declutter your mind is to use a planner. Yes, a paper planner.
When you use a planner you relieve your mind of the burden of remembering everything. Instead you can write stuff down, cross it off, move it to a different day and so forth with ease. And unlike using your phone as a planner you can see the whole picture of your week or month at one glance!
3: Write in a Journal
Next, you might consider a mental declutter for your more personal thoughts. Have you ever written a journal?
I have to admit that I am not a consistent journal writer but I still find the occasional entry helps me to unload some of the emotions and thoughts I am confused about. Sometimes I just write creatively instead of putting down things about my life. That is relaxing too.
Could you write in a journal now and then? Perhaps just one sentence a day? Or you could try a gratitude journal where you record things you appreciate each week?
Try writing in a journal when you don’t feel like yourself and need a little time to work it out.
4: Mind Dump
Sometimes a planner or a journal feels a bit too formal for all the mind clutter you have to unload. Instead of trying to set out everything in a certain format why not just do a mind dump?
Simply grab a piece of paper and write down everything you a trying to remember, figure out and plan in loose easy notes. Once you have it all out of your head start organizing it into stuff that you actually need to do and stuff you don’t need to worry about after all.
My husband doesn’t use a planner or a journal but he always has a mind dump paper laying around. It helps him a lot!
5: Delegate & Communicate
Has it ever occurred to you that you just have too much on your plate? Maybe you don’t have to remember everything, do it all, and being on top of it all the time.
Instead, you might need to clear mental clutter by asking for help. When you delegate some of the things you need to do or remember to someone else they can take up a lot less or no mental space.
What kinds of things can you delegate and ask for help?
Well, within the family you can assign some chores to different members of the family permanently. You can also ask family members to run errands for you, call people, make appointments and so forth.
Another way to delegate is to think of someone who is best qualified to help when someone asks you to help with something you don’t know much about. Isn’t it better not to help if your help would be substandard.
Finally don’t forget to communicate things that need talked about. Often times in the middle of the day I think of questions I want to ask my husband or decisions we should make together but at the end of the day I never remember. If you can make make note of these kinds of these those conversations won’t hang over your head but you will actually be able to productively problem solve as a couple or family.
You can also delegate and communicate at work. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out exactly how that would apply to your situation but there are always ways to work as a team instead of a one man show.
6: Enjoy Some Silence
It doesn’t matter how much mental decluttering we do there will still be times we suffer from the signs of a cluttered mind.
What can you do when you feel frazzled, overwhelmed, forgetful, and exhausted?
Enjoy some silence.
Think about it. When was the last time you let a moment pass without some kind of input? I listen to books while I clean, listen to music while I work out, talk with my mom while I cook, and sit down to a TV show to relax. On top of that I’m checking my texts, emails, and social media accounts.
If you are like me you are literally ALWAYS taking in information. When was the last time you just sat on the porch in silence looking out? Could you sit and drink a cup of tea, take a bubble bath, do a creative hobby without background sound? Would it be worth it to go for a walk or simply turn off the sound while you do your work?
Our minds our cluttered for the same reason our homes are. We are always taking in more stuff. Try to slow down your intake and you clear some of that pesky mind clutter.
7: Set Alarms
There are lots of things we need to remember. I love a planner but another good tool to use is an alarm or reminder on your phone.
Instead of trusting yourself to take your medicine set an alarm. If you put something in the oven set a timer. When you need to send a card for someones anniversary set an alarm on your phone for a few days in advance.
Alarms can be a really great way to clear mental clutter because you don’t have to think about the thing you set your alarm for until you are reminded.
8: Automate The Boring Stuff
What about all your chores. I know they weigh on your mind and you may feel overwhelmed, behind or even guilty. Is there any way to let go of those feelings and still get the boring stuff like laundry, errands, grocery shopping and dinner done?
Absolutely! You just have to automate your chores.
No there is no robot that will do them for you but if you create systems that work these boring things get automatic and easy. You create a system when you put your chore on a specific schedule and do it in a specific way every time. Doing that makes your chores into habits you don’t have to think much about.
For example if you always do your laundry on the same day of the week and you make sure everyone folds and puts away their clothes that day it won’t be hanging over your head all the time.
And finally if you schedule your next dentist appointment, oil change, vet visit, etc and put it it your planner you will stay on a good schedule with these maintenance tasks.
9: Learn to Say No
There is another mental decluttering hack that is so simple it hurts. It really might hurt but if you learn how to say no in a smart way you will be able to enjoy “the joy of missing out” or JOMO.
If you want to clear mental clutter you need to have less on your plate. That means you can’t do it all. When you learn to say no to things you don’t have time for, don’t have energy for and don’t actually want to do you will clear a lot of space in your mental hard drive.
10: Enjoy Some Self-Care
Last but not least, as part of your mental decluttering routine, you need to schedule some time for self care.
If your computer doesn’t get all its updates it will start acting weird, if your phone doesn’t get charged it will die and if you don’t get some rest and rejuvenation you will crash in a way that doesn’t help you or your family.
Instead of letting that happen take time to get in that hot tub bath, enjoy a cup of tea with a book, move your body in a way you enjoy, treat yourself to some pampering, and get the physical, spiritual, and creative reset you need!
Recognize the Signs of a Cluttered Mind and Fight Back!
Now that you know what the signs of a clutter mind are you can fight back! You don’t have to feel guilty about it. Everyone is dealing with mental clutter. You just have to get in the habit of doing things that declutter your mind.
When you declutter your mind you can be more productive, more positive and less stressed. You will become the best team member you can be for your family and you might actually have the bandwidth to say yes to having fun!
Learn to declutter your mind and have a happy simple life!