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Stop Procrastination and Clear Your Mental Clutter

No one would want to admit to it, but we all procrastinate.  It’s something we fussed at our kids about, and our parents did the same to us.  But, here we are as adults, still finding that we procrastinate.  There are many things that will drain your energy and put a damper on your productivity, and I’ve already written about a couple of those things; namely, constant interruptions, and clutter.  Now, let’s tackle a biggie – procrastination.

First, please know that you’re not alone – even the most productive, highly motivated people on the planet will sometimes procrastinate.  The really mentally sharp folks will even cloak the procrastination as something else, such as “planning time” needed.  As if procrastinating will give me more time to let my creative juices flow.  I’m not suggesting that we all just jump into action with no sense of planning, but inside, you know when you’re using planning and creativity as an excuse.

Let’s discuss how we might fight back against this energy-sucking monster.  After all, I believe we sometimes waste more energy thinking up excuses than we would spend if we just got started and made course corrections along the way.

We talked in another article about the important of clearing the clutter in your surroundings.  The same thing applies to your mind.  The only way to get rid of the mental clutter that’s slowing you down is to get the “stuff” out of your head and into some kind of written system.

I read a book years ago that changed my life.  It’s called Getting Things Done, by David Allen. He instructed his readers to set aside a block of time (probably several days) with no interruptions, and simply DOWNLOAD.  I’ve also heard it called a “Brain Drain.”  You get a ream of copy paper (500 sheets) and set it on your desk.  Then, you write down everything that comes to your mind – things you need to do, things to plan, places to go, phone calls to make, projects to complete, shopping to do, etc…EVERYTHING, no matter how unrelated it may be.

And the ream of paper?  Well, you only put one item on a sheet of paper.  It may seem like a colossal waste of paper, but just do it.  After hours and hours of this, soon there will be nothing left in your head to create mental clutter – it’s all on the stack of paper.  Only at this point, can you begin to rebuild everything that was in your head into a manageable system.  I can’t tell you everything in the book, but I think I’ve made my point about the mental clutter.  I’ll give you a hint:  If you can do it in 2 minutes, then DO it.  If you need to DEFER it, put it on your calendar, and if you can DELEGATE it, then do that. You’ll have to get the book to see what to do next.  You can probably find it on a discount book website because it’s several years old now.

So, to recap…you MUST clear your mental clutter because it’s draining your energy.

You’ll find that when your mind is free from clutter, you’ll not be so tempted to procrastinate because your mind will be free to think, to create, to plan and to execute those plans.  Don’t procrastinate!  Get started now.

Leave a comment and let me know how you overcome procrastination.