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Mental clutter is like having too many tabs open on your computer, but it’s happening in your brain. It can distract you, make you lose focus and ultimately lower your productivity. Daily habits that declutter your mind are your go-to solution for combating this issue.
Think of them as your mental health toolkit, always available to help clear the fog. By incorporating these routines into your day, you actively work to maintain a clear mind, setting the stage for increased productivity.
1. Morning Journaling
Journaling acts like a mental sieve, helping you filter through the jumble of thoughts in your head and organize your thoughts. In your morning journal, consider jotting down your goals for the day, things you’re grateful for or any ideas that might be causing stress.
You could also include a positive affirmation or a personal mantra to set the tone for a productive day. The key is to make it a habit. Spend a few minutes each morning writing in your journal.
2. Mindful Breathing
Mindful breathing is a simple yet powerful technique to declutter your mind. The idea is to breathe deeply through your nose, hold for a moment and then exhale completely through your mouth. During this time, try to let go of distracting thoughts and be present.
This practice has an immediate calming effect on your mind. It reduces stress hormones, lowers blood pressure and increases oxygen supply to your brain. When your mind is calm, it’s easier to sift through mental clutter and get a clear view of your priorities.
3. Prioritize Tasks
Setting daily priorities helps you decide what needs your attention the most and what can wait. Without this roadmap, you’re likely to drift from one task to another, wasting time and energy and making it hard to accomplish anything meaningful.
A straightforward method for task prioritization is the ABCD system. Here’s how it works:
- Start with labels: Use the ABCD system to categorize your tasks.
- Define “A” tasks: These are urgent and essential tasks.
- Identify “B” tasks: These are important but not critical tasks.
- Spot “C” tasks: These are neither urgent nor important.
- Tag “D” tasks: You can delegate these tasks to others.
- Follow the order: Start by completing “A” tasks, then move to “B” tasks and so on.
4. Take Short Breaks
Taking short breaks allows your brain to learn new skills, rest and rejuvenate your focus. Continuous work can lead to mental fatigue, which hampers your performance and productivity.
The Pomodoro Technique is a popular method to make the most of your breaks. It involves working in bursts of 25 minutes, called “Pomodoros,” followed by a five-minute break. After completing four cycles, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.
Implementing this technique can transform your workday. You will have set times for focused work, but the planned breaks can help you declutter your mind, ensuring you’re constantly at peak productivity.
5. Digital Detox
Constant digital notifications are like tiny interruptions that steal your focus repeatedly. Each buzz from your phone can cause a spike in stress hormones, making it hard to maintain a clear mind. Over time, these micro-interruptions add up, affecting your mental well-being and productivity.
Starting a digital detox doesn’t have to be drastic. Begin by turning off non-essential notifications on your phone and computer. Set specific “check-in” times for social media and emails. Consider also removing apps that you find particularly distracting from your home screen.
6. Exercise Regularly
Physical exercise is more than just a body strengthener — it’s a mind booster, too. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones. These hormones help to alleviate stress and create a sense of mental clarity. Exercise can be your secret weapon against a cluttered mind, allowing you to think more clearly and focus better.
You don’t have to hit the gym to reap these benefits. Simple exercises you can do at home include jumping jacks, push-ups and bodyweight squats. If you prefer something less intense, try yoga poses or stretching exercises to help relax your mind and body.
7. Stay Hydrated
Proper hydration aids in maintaining optimal brain function, helping you think more clearly and stay focused. When you’re dehydrated, you’re cognitive functions can decline, leading to mental fatigue and cloudy thinking.
Consider setting reminders on your phone or using a water-tracking app to ensure you drink enough water. Another tip is to keep a water bottle within arm’s reach so you remember to take a sip whenever you see it. You could also add flavor to your water with lemon or mint to make it more enjoyable.
Making a habit of staying hydrated can significantly improve your mental clarity and overall productivity. It’s a small change with immense benefits, helping you to declutter your mind and operate at your best.
8. Limit Multitasking
Multitasking might seem like a great way to get more done, but it’s often a trap. When you do it, your brain has to constantly switch gears, which can lead to mistakes and decreased productivity. It can also take longer to complete tasks when juggling multiple things simultaneously.
Instead, try focusing on one task at a time. This approach, often called “single-tasking,” allows you to give full attention to your actions. You’ll likely finish jobs faster and produce higher-quality work when fully engaged.
9. Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude brings richness and positivity to your mental state. Focusing on what you’re grateful for can elevate your mood, reduce stress and improve your outlook on life. Cultivating gratitude makes you more likely to approach challenges with a clear and optimistic mindset.
A way to practice daily gratitude is by keeping a journal. Each day, jot down three things you’re thankful for. You can also make it a habit to verbally express gratitude to people around you, whether it’s thanking a colleague for their help or telling a family member you appreciate them.
Incorporating gratitude into your daily routine can be transformative. It helps to declutter your mind from negative thoughts and allows you to focus on the positives, ultimately boosting your mental well-being and productivity.
10. Unplug Before Bed
Winding down before sleep helps transition you from the hustle and bustle of the day to a restful night’s sleep. When you rest better, you wake up with a clearer mind, ready to tackle the day’s challenges.
Consider engaging in activities that calm your senses. Reading a light book, taking a warm bath or doing gentle stretches are great options. Try mindfulness or deep breathing exercises to help relax your mind. Limit screen time at least an hour before bed to reduce exposure to blue light, which can interfere with your sleep cycle.
Conquering One Day at a Time
Each habit is pivotal in keeping your mind clear, from journaling to setting daily priorities. Don’t overlook the benefits of physical exercise, hydration and a good night’s sleep either.
Start incorporating these habits into your daily routine to declutter your mind. Even small changes can make a big difference, transforming a dull day into an opportunity to focus and be productive. Kickstart your journey to a clearer mind today!
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