If you have ever laid awake at night thinking of all of the things you must get done tomorrow and wondering how you are going to do that, then keep reading. This week’s guest blogger is an expert on being more productive and for her it begins with a simple tool: the “To Do List” Paula Rizzo is the “List Producer” and has some great advice on “clearing out the mental clutter” Enjoy! – Shannon Wilburn
It must happen to you too — you wake up and already a million ideas and things you need to do are whizzing through your head. Then you get on with your day and all these pesky tasks just won’t go away. Having mental clutter can make you frustrated, tired and annoyed. So I say clear it out!
Here are a few ways that work for me:
Write a To-Do List
This may seem a bit obvious, but it works! If your mind is crowded with all the things you have to get down, write them down in a To-Do List. This way, you can easily see what needs to get done and you can prioritize better.
Making a hard decision can be a big mental burden. There are usual a lot of variables at play and going back and forth between options will create a lot of mental clutter. If you’re having difficulty sticking to a decision, try making a Pro-Con list and get your thoughts out in the open. Once you’ve made your choice, you’ll feel a lot better!
If your surroundings are a mess, it’ll only add to your mental clutter. There was a study done at UCLA that found when faced with household clutter, women’s stress hormones sky rocketed. If everything in your office or home is in its proper place, you won’t have to put any effort into sorting through the things around you.
Plan Down Time
Scheduling in a few minutes for relaxing is important, even if you’re busy. Taking the time to rest will help prevent you from becoming stressed and will give you time to organize your thoughts.
Listen to Music
Stop letting your many thoughts get in the way of your productivity. Your thoughts will have a much harder time distracting you over the music. I also do this when I can’t concentrate at work. Something about drowning everything else out helps me focus.
Ask for Help
If you have a lot on your mind, chances are it’s because you have a lot on your plate! It’s OK to ask for help — not even the best of us can’t do everything on our own.
Paula Rizzo is an Emmy award winning television producer and founder of the productivity site ListProducer.com. She’s also the author of Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed. You can listen to her narrate her blog posts on Umano.
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