I gulped down the lukewarm tea mindlessly. Placed the cup back on the coaster. Pushing my spine against the comfortable high back office chair, I tried to relax, but got any results.
Shifting my focus back to the computer screen, I tried to concentrate on the report at hand. But my mind refused to cooperate. I tried still. And I might have succeeded too but was distracted again.
“The Interviewers are ready for briefing in the conference”.
Just as then my phone rang. It was from a client’s office calling to confirm the approaching presentation date. And no, they could not postpone it as their chairman was due to travel out of country for an important family affair.
The briefing was a chaotic affair with each sentence being endlessly translated from one language to another. Our field manager was on vacation, and the task came to me by default. However, I spoke English and the Interviewers hardly any. So a bilingual translator was appointed to bridge the language gap.
Our firm was expanding fast, and we were, all, drowning under heavy workload.
Despite meeting many candidates, we were unable to find a suitable person to share this workload.
I had spent the last couple of weekends working, foregoing family get-togethers, leaving office late and taking work home. A minor lapse could undo hours’ worth of work. And deadlines were fast approaching.
Back on my seat, I tried to focus on the report in vain. Every attempt made me more confused and I panicked.
When my colleague saw my situation, she made me take deep breaths counting to 10. I took a 10-minute break and went out for fresh air. I came back feeling better. That evening I left office a little earlier. I watched some TV and chatted with a friend and voila next day I was ready to face the thunder again.
When you have so many ideas and thoughts floating around in your head, competing for the same space, demanding your attention all at once, they create chaos and make it difficult for you to think clearly.
Prolonged chaos leads to mental clutter but this only becomes serious problem when you leave it unattended to grow complex. If you learn to handle it effectively on time, you can easily manage it.
Deal with your chaos in time.
Different people find different approaches helpful. I have listed a few below, practise what suits you .
Prioritize and eliminate or delegate the less important ones.
Take your weekends seriously! Weekends are meant to have a break from the daily life activities so that your mind can relax. Plan an evening out with family or friends and refresh your mind cells.
Get creative. Switch off the TV. Exercise your mind. Solve a puzzle, get a hobby, do something different than your daily schedule.
Exercise. Physical activity elevates your mood. It helps you feel better, sleep better, and focus better.
Decluttering of mind requires us to become aware of our thoughts and be mindful of everything. Regular meditation is one way to practise this. You could start with 10 minutes daily.
You may not realize this but the clutter could be from conflicting thoughts about the same object. You cannot enjoy the positive if you constantly have the negative thoughts blocking your view. Deal with the negative thoughts once for all and let go.
Practise deep breathing regularly. Take few deep breaths, and then for a few minutes, go to a quiet corner so that you are not disturbed and just focus on your breathing. Concentrate on your breathing as it comes into your body, and then as it goes out. It has a calming effect, especially if you continue to return your focus to your breath whenever your mind strays. It also allows other thoughts to just float away.
Avoid multitasking. Single task. Just focus on any task on your to do list. After you finish, cross it off and turn your focus on the next task.
Pray regularly and count your blessings.
But there are instances, when we get too busy with life situations and find ourselves suddenly drowning in clutter, then it is important to make time from your busy schedule to deal with it effectively.
Brain Dump. Free up some space by letting go. Make time to jot down all those amazing ideas and thoughts in a notebook (more under J – journaling) where you can refer to it later when you deal with that situation. Once you have listed it, your brain will let go.
Cluttered environment creates mind clutter, so streamline and organise your desk, cupboard or your kitchen. Throw away some junk.
Talk to a friend. Talking to others about problems is not only therapeutic but enables you to see things from a different point of view, opening to potential solutions.
Is the clutter due to your relationships? Examine all the relationships in your life. Some people are more demanding and give mere excuses when it is their turn to give, this results in rise to confusing thoughts in your mind, better to sit and sort it out at once.
Do not hesitate to visit a professional therapist if needed, you visit a dentist when you have a toothache.Remember, having a healthy mind is as important as having a healthy body.