How do you unclutter your thougths?
Having a creative mind can be exhausting sometimes. We often lose ourselves in a million thoughts at the same time and we easily let them clutter and fog our brains.
Suddenly, it feels like there’s so much energy and ideas flooding and rushing through our minds that we can’t handle them. We don’t feel creative anymore, we just feel a huge overload of ideas, and we want to do everything ending up doing nothing.
I haven’t mastered controlling it completely yet but I know a few tricks that can help you unclutter your thoughts. Surprisingly or not, they come from logic, heuristics, and putting your whole brain at your service.
Before we dive into those tricks, let me tell you about the left and the right side of the brain. It’s said that the right side is where we manifest feelings, visuals, imagination, intuition, arts, creativity, while the left side is responsible for thinking in words, sequences, patterns, math, logic.
In my opinion, if you think that you’re more of a right-brained person, chances are that you’re not using your brain right. And if you see yourself limited to your left side brain, you’re not right at all.
So, without further ado, here’s what’s left for you to unclutter your thoughts.
first, do a brain dump or create lists
Collect your thoughts. When you’re flooded with ideas, your brain starts struggling with trying to focus on more than one thing at a time, while it’s also taking care of a million other functions of your body that you’re not even aware of. In other words, you might drain your energy when you think too much.
So, get a piece of paper or fire up an electronic device of your preference, and start writing everything down. What are you thinking? What are those thoughts in your head? Put it all on paper, take it out of your foggy mind, clear your head.
With this method, you empty your brain to soothe it and to allow it to process information more effectively.
I may have read this in Discourse on the Method, by Renée Descartes. A great way to solve a problem is to break it, explode it into tiny pieces, disassemble it, and try to rebuild it or order it again.
My late grandfather used to do that to relax. Any broken object in the house would have its pieces carefully scattered on a table, and he’d spend hours and hours softly whistling old songs and trying to fix the object by checking and cleaning its pieces and putting them all back together.
Now, do that with your thoughts. Once you know what they are, once you collected them, break them into pieces and try to figure out how they work, what’s the function of each piece, how can you make everything work together again to “rebuild the object”.
That is also a great way to separate the wheat from the chaff or see what doesn’t belong.
zoom out or zoom in
This thing about pieces won’t work, though, if you don’t use your mind’s lenses.
What I mean is that you should be able to look at a piece or an idea inserted in a big picture. Where does it go? Where does it fit? What does it do?
The same applies in the opposite direction. Look at the big picture. The whole object. What’s the piece that makes it work? What does it need to work that way? How does it work?
You think of zombies, a plague, and a sheriff. You can have three separate stories if you zoom in, or you can create a unique story if you zoom out. A story about a sheriff that wakes up in a hospital in a post-apocalyptic scenario caused by a plague in a world now dominated by zombies.
That’s Walking Dead, by the way.
sort, rearrange, categorize
Now, another great thing you can do is to give your thoughts a house.
Put them in a group. Sort them, rearrange them. Make them useful with a little bit of logic. When each thought goes to a drawer, you know where to find them when you need them.
sleep on it
Finally, after you did all that. Sleeping on it can be a great idea. A way to let your brain rest and recharge its energy.
Sometimes we can’t do that, sometimes we have to tackle this creative vibe before it gets cold. But if you can sleep on it, you’ll be able to think clearly the next day.
Alright, if you’ve been reading this blog, you might see some similarities between this article and the one where I shared three easy steps to plan your content effectively. That’s no coincidence. I use the same method to plan my content because planning it is no different from decluttering my brain.
So, here’s everything wrapped up:
- Do a brain dump
- Disassemble and reorder
- Zoom out and zoom in
- Sort, rearrange, categorize
- Sleep on it
Now, for the comments
• How do you organize your thoughts?