Today’s guest post is written by Kimya Williams, owner, founder of PROficiency Services, and all around productivity superstar. I met Kimya a few weeks ago at a networking meet up. As we chatted about our businesses, who we serve, and why, it was clear to me there were so many overlaps in our work.
One of the first things I do when working with a new entrepreneur client is ask her about her productivity and systems. I need to know what exists and what doesn’t and how her brain works. I also need to help her CLEAN OUT and RELEASE old systems and ways that cannot serve her moving forward. More often than not, the women I mentor keep running lists, maybe have an excel file for tracking clients, a few client in-take forms that they email, keep a rudimentary filing system, and are recreating the wheel with each client. No wonder they are overwhelmed.
Kimya’s thoughts on decluttering our brains are the basis of this kind of productivity work. We must clear out to help ourselves. Read on.
Have you ever worked on a project and lacked focus? You want clarity but you can’t get out of the brain fog? You may be suffering from Brain Clutter. Don’t feel bad! This is common for the typical human being because we overload our brains with unnecessary clutter! Yup, not only is clutter tangible things, but it’s also intangible things like thoughts, feelings, ideas, etc. The average human is a hoarder. We think our mind is the “Cloud” and we have a plan with infinite storage. The problem with this mindset is that the more we store without recycling, dumping, giving away, or just properly storing, our precious thoughts can and will be lost or damaged.
Human beings have so much already stored in the brain like our basic functions, how we feel, speak and talk etc. and things that are our habits are embedded into our memory. Think of the computer or phone where you are reading this. It already came with some basic functions and we customize it with different programs, apps and other settings. Over time we download pictures, movies, music and save important documents and occasionally we may get something we didn’t intend to put on your device, like a virus.
Our brains and our digital devices are very similar and to help them work effectively, they need to be decluttered! Although research shows that the human brain does have a great amount of storage, it is uncertain why we still forget things. I always recommend creating a habit of doing a brain dump every night before you go to sleep. Keep a journal and write down all those thoughts. If you can’t commit to every night try to do so at least once a week. One of the most common reasons people say they can’t fall asleep is because their mind is wandering with thoughts. We can also do this right before we work on the important project that demands our focus or when seeking clarity about a decision we need to make.
The information that we have downloaded from our brain into our journals can now guide our daily priorities. Most of our projects and tasks will come from doing this exercise. It also gives our thoughts and ideas value because we have written them down as things to do and complete even if we don’t have the completed process. If we just leave these ideas in our heads we may not be able to retrieve them or may only be able to remember a portion of the thought, idea or feeling.
Decluttering our minds is important and this process needs to become a habit that is done frequently. The brain takes in so many things and there are those we need and want remember (and plenty that clutter up the space and can be released)! In this digital age remember that your brain does have a lot of memory yet it is complex and it doesn’t work like the “Cloud” where you can type in a file and retrieve the full document. We have to give our brains a break, relieve it from the overload, declutter it and reserve our Brainpower for the decisions that we need to make daily.