It seems that the darkest clouds are now behind us. We might still feel the aftermath in our bodies and minds, not having the usual energy levels that we would naturally have in this time any other year. As discussed in our last month's newsletter, it's vital that we are able to organise our time, resources and activities accordingly to the available energy, If the tank is half empty, we can't expect to do and get on like we have it all filled up.
One of the most powerful exercises we can do is prioritise. As we recognise that we are living exceptional and unprecedented times, our priorities should be reflecting that too. We can't just go on like nothing has happened.
This month, we are inviting you to reflect on the current workload at home, work, personally and professionally. What is fundamental, what is urgent, what is a priority? From all of those, which are the instrumental actions that are supporting your vision, the change that you are fuelling, your goals?
And you might say, I don't even have time for that. I don't know what my goals are. I'm not sure where I am heading anymore. For these specific reasons, I wanted to share with you some of my favourite ways to create clarity. If our brains are foggy, if we feel tired, if we don't know where we are going, we need to reconnect with our internal GPS and find clarity, the direction of travel. With clarity, then, we can prioritise, organise and manage out time and resources (life force, energy levels) more effectively and sustainably.
A few tricks to generate more clarity:
1. Create harmonious spaces
The mind works better when the environment around you is organised, as it has to process everything that crosses its field of vision. If home or work environment are cluttered and messy, the brain might feel more foggy. It's more difficult to work effectively. Clearing the clutter every so often is a great way to start creating clarity.
2. Identify your priorities to then, set goals accordingly
When we are clear about what we are doing and the reason behind, we feel more aligned, fulfilled and grounded. If we are running around like head-less chickens without focus or sense of direction, we become unproductive and prone to stress and burnout. Organise the priorities for the week discerning between the urgent / important / and not-urgent as you allocate times for each, for both personal and professional aspects.
3. One thing at a time
Despite its general praise, multitasking diminishes our focus and productivity. Instead, tackling one thing at a time, giving our undivided attention, will help us to complete the task quicker and more efficiently. There will be times when we have to juggle, but let's not allow it to become the norm. We can also apply that to our home - instead of watching TV while browsing on our phones, pick one and bring all your attention. That's mindfulness for you!
4. Eliminate distractions
You may be so used to the beeps and dings from your phone and flashing messages on your computer screen that you don’t know how distracting they are. It can take up to 15 minutes or more to recover from even a small distraction. A good one is to turn off notifications and if you can’t resist the pull of your devices, turn them off when you are doing other work. It's truly liberating! As well as turning your phone off at least 1h before bedtime to have a full restful sleep.
This is an important one. We all can relate to using caffeine or stimulants like sugar to boost our energy levels and take us out of the zombie zone, bringing us back to life. As good as these tricks can be used every now and then, they are heavily addictive and our brains can't function optimally when they are under their influence, generating long term imbalances in our brains and bodies. Trying green juices, smoothies or just bringing the energy up by doing a few star jumps, push ups or dancing to your favourite song? They will also boost your "happy hormones" which will make you feel even better! And not only in physical form, but the quality (and hours) of our sleep, how often we take breaks throughout the day, are we nourishing the mental, physical and emotional? How can we nourish ourselves on a daily basis?
6. Explore stillness and silence
Set aside a few minutes to get quiet and/or meditate, see how it feels when there is no noise around you when the only thing that you can hear is your own heartbeat and breath coming in and out. Even if it's just or a couple of minutes, giving our brains this "processing" or "break" time will help decluttering and bringing calmness within
7. Processing what's going on within
Expressing our thoughts and feelings are a great way to process, make sense and organise what's going on within us. Whether you want to write it down as a way to "transfer" it from head to paper, for you to read and reflect afterwards. Same with having a conversation with a peer, family member, friend or coach.
We don't know what we haven't tried. We might have an inclination or interest but until we put it into practice and give it a go, we might be missing on something interesting. When we learn through experience and experiments we are able to test our own boundaries and habits.
9. Listening to our thoughts
As soon as we think, “I could never do that” or “I could never go without this” explore what's behind. Is that based on a fact? Or is it the fear, imposter syndrome or any other internal narrative coming up blocking your way forward?. These are exceptional pointers to unblock clarity.
10. Shake off the debris and noise
If we feel stuck, get up and move, walk, run, move that energy away in order to return to your "focused" self. Put whatever you need down, sleep on it, and return a few hours later or even in a day or two. Revisit where you got stuck with a fresher perspective. Going for a walk to move what might be blocking us to allow the clarity to flow instead.
Give it a go and let me know what you think - as always, happy to have a chat about this in case you want to explore it further
With much love,