How Do You Clean the Windows in Your Mind?
If only getting clarity were as easy as spraying yourself with a big bottle of window cleaner (Don’t try it; some of those cleaners are filled with chemicals). Last week I talked about why having clarity was so important. This week, I want to talk about HOW to get that clarity.
Finding clarity has to do with sorting through all the things that capture your attention to find what really counts.
The first step to finding clarity is to capture the things that are on your mind so that you can do that sorting. You can do this in a number of different ways, depending upon your preference. You can use a pad of paper, a flipchart, create a file on your computer, or find a big white board to write or draw on. You’re going to do a Brain Dump. Find a time when you can sit uninterrupted for 15 or 20 minutes. Write, draw, or somehow capture the things that are racing around in your head. If you want, you can set up categories if that fits what’s coming out. You might have a category for business ideas, things you want to fix in your home, things you want to do or have in your relationships, etc. When I do this process, I often break things into the following categories:
· Physical Environment
Within each category, I may have subcategories. For instance, my work is to coach people, but I also write fiction and non-fiction. I can break the Work category into Coaching and Writing since they tend to be pretty different. I’m doing them both, and both matter to me.
Essentially, what you’re doing is brainstorming in order dump what’s taking up space and energy in your life. You may want to keep this list around for a week or so, and add to it as soon as other ideas pop into your head.
Once you’ve captured most of it, the next step is to sort through it. Put a star next to the things that are most important to you. You can even use different colors to highlight levels of importance, or use multiple stars to indicate what is most important to you. Once you’ve done that, take a look at it. What comes out as most important for you? Hopefully, that will bring you some clarity about what you need to put first.
Here are some examples:
One woman I coached discovered that her relationship with God was most important. When she felt connected spiritually, everything else flowed more easily. What became clear to her was that she needed to plan her life in such a way that she always took the time to stay connected.
Another woman did this with her husband, and they discovered that financial issues, specifically their debt, affected every other area of their lives, and especially their relationship. It now became clear that they needed to come up with a plan to reduce the amount they owed.
A man I worked with discovered that he was so focused on his job that he didn’t make time for his family. Weekends were taken up with maintaining the house and car. He wanted to make his relationships more important. Once he was clear that he wanted his family to be most important, he carved out time during the evenings and weekends to spend with them. He discovered that a simple reallocation of his time made a huge difference. A half hour playing a video game with his son and special time with his daughter helping her rearrange her room left time to spend with his wife as well.
Having clarity doesn’t mean you have to give up everything else you do. It is about making sure you focus attention on what is most important to you. It is about making your time and energy count. When you do that, most likely your life will begin to feel more fulfilling. You’ll feel less like you’re wasting your time and energy on tasks that seem meaningless.
If you want help with this process, feel free to call me at (865) 983-7544 or email me at Linda@InnerResourceCenter.com. We can set up some time to talk about your situation, and if you’d like, we can set up a Strategy Session to help you sort things out. When you find clarity, it makes things so much simpler. Decisions become much easier to make because you can determine whether an opportunity or project brings you closer to reaching your main goal or not.