The National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO) reminds us that January is the Get Organized Month or GO Month. They say it is the time to implement time management, organization, storage solutions, and productivity into your daily life. That makes sense. After all, January is a fresh beginning, not simply a new day, but a new year. Why not take advantage of it?
But before you rush off to organize your construction business office, arrange the tools in the shop, refit your construction company vehicles, or tackle the storage closet, it will serve you well to cull the chaos in your brain.
Deal with the mental clutter first!
What is Mental Clutter?
Mental clutter is found in the proverbial “I’ve got 19 tabs open, 3 are frozen, and I have no idea where the music is coming from” ditty we often see portrayed as a cartoon computer and a frazzle-haired computer operator. Funny. Right?
Well, it’s not so funny when you realize that those tabs (whether they are frozen or not) represent clutter. And no matter where it is found, clutter is a genuine deterrent to accuracy, efficiency, and productivity.
Mental clutter keeps you distracted, overwhelmed, debilitated, and stressed out!
When your brain works so hard to keep up with all the mental clutter, you may miss important things, forget crucial objectives, make small (or big) mistakes, or generate poor decisions.
Examples of Mental Clutter
Haunting – Being disturbed or overwhelmed by past mistakes and bad decisions – made today or years ago.
Delaying – Procrastinating and continually putting off the decision-making process.
FOMOing – Holding on to the Fear of Missing Out and being unable to keep up with everyone and everything.
Overloading – Swamping your business and personal calendars, micromanaging employees and others, or continuing an unending informational pursuit.
Underloading – Being unable to delegate, schedule future tasks, or prioritize well.
Downcasting – Keeping negative patterns and beliefs – often including “can’t statements” – “I can’t lose weight,” or “I can’t remember names,” or “enough statements – “I’m not (good, smart, skilled, rich) enough.”
How to Clear the Mental Clutter
Create a sanctuary for tending to your mind. Create a quiet place where you can escape the sounds and demands of the outside world and the insistence of your mental clutter. It is a place to decompress, gather your thoughts, and take a literal as well as a figurative deep breath.
Practice discernment and reflection. What matters and what doesn’t matter? What can be fixed, and what cannot? What is in your control, and what is not?
Get physical. Clearing mental clutter may take on some physical aspects. Try exercising, taking a walk, or doing some other type of activity. Even a stroll to the other end of the yard may help you loosen the cogs that are messing with your mind.
Talk it out. There are two ways to put this method to work. Have you ever (like me) been in a situation where you went to someone to help solve a problem and then discovered that you found the solution in the process of explaining the problem? That is one method of “talking it out.” The second method is to converse with someone who can give you input, understand an aspect you’re missing, or simply have more knowledge than you. When you’re stuck, try talking it out.
Write it out. Whether you use pencil and paper, your laptop, your phone, or some other device, there are many ways to move mental clutter to a list, your calendar, or some other storage place. Remove the overwhelm by purposely consolidating your zip-zap thoughts into written form for further reference.
Use the power of writing things out by:
Creating an all-encompassing brain dump
Developing a prioritized to-do list
Documenting your short-term plans
Put your calendar to best use by:
Scheduling future tasks
Adding margin to your daily agenda
Allowing for downtime
Planning specific catch-up days
Put Mental Clutter in its Place
Think of your mental clutter as a refrigerator – possibly the most challenging place in your kitchen to keep organized. Just as food comes and goes, jobs start and finish. Each construction project has its own shape, size, and texture – just like the objects placed in your refrigerator. So, much like keeping your refrigerator clean and organized, putting mental clutter in its place means you must establish a regular practice of decluttering.
And just like your refrigerator – sometimes it will be a spill or a spoil that puts you into action. Regularly clearing the mental clutter will make you better prepared to take on the task.
Reflection: What is the first step you’ll take to begin clearing the mental clutter?
Ambitious Construction Contractors look to The Profit Constructors to provide advocacy in dealing with:
Clients and customers
Employees and subcontractors
Vendors and service providers
Working with The Profit Constructors gives Construction Contractors the means to organize their operations in ways that help them:
Ready for action? Or want to know more? Get in touch today to schedule a complimentary discovery call. 866-629-7735