4 Steps For Creating More Mental Space In Your Life
Do you sometimes just feel like there’s just too much going on in your life? Too much work, too much to achieve and do? Even when you’ve got a busy social life, packing your schedule with too much fun stuff can overwhelm you.
I am really bad for trying to cram so many activities into my day or week. I’ll create a huge to do list and as time runs out, my anxiety and stress rises as I know I can’t complete everything to a good standard in the time I’ve given myself. When it gets to that point, I feel like my head is like Shibuya Crossing – so many thoughts and priorities, all fighting for attention, which is distracting enough to ensure nothing of use actually gets done.
When I realise I have overloaded myself, it’s time to take a step back to create some mental space, get back to a calm medium and to align all of my activities back into a sensible order.
Creating a mental space helps to distance yourself from your day-to-day, the to dos and the things we think are ‘urgent and important’ but can actually just wait. Finding that space can bring your back to having some room to breathe, because how can you achieve anything, when your mind is already at capacity?
Stop Feeling Guilty
Like I said, we have a tendency to put everything we ‘need’ to do into the ‘urgent and important’ category. If those items do not end up being achieved, we can end up feeling guilty and annoyed with ourselves. If we prioritise properly however, we can achieve things in a smarter way, as well as being able to have that mental space to achieve them well. Check out Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important technique to see how to use your time effectively.
I don’t know about you, but when I have a lot on my plate, somehow everything around me is a distraction. My Instagram feed, that article I want to read, and that thing I need to fix that I haven’t looked at in months. Identify what’s holding you back or distracting you from your goals and distance yourself from it, even just for a short while.
Tidy Your Space
I can’t stress enough the importance of having a fresh, clean environment when you’re trying to create some mental space for yourself. Old plates from lunch, piled up coffee cups and papers everywhere are not conducive to you being able to relax. Spending literally ten minutes spring cleaning your area will do wonders for your mental state. If you’re not one for complete tidiness and clutter is part of your personality, you could try making your area aesthetically pleasing in a way that suits you – some scented candles, some beautiful art prints for example.
Take A Break
No one can be working at 100% all of the time. Everyone needs a break. I know there are some of us who struggle to switch off, even for a few hours. However, I can’t recommend enough just trying a few times a week to carve out some time when you’re not at a screen, not on your phone and you’re just…you. This time could include going for a walk without your phone, listening to an inspiring podcast or trying out some breathing and meditation techniques. If you don’t feel comfortable taking a lot of time away, just practice having a break for a few minutes every hour, or even just making sure you have lunch away from your desk.
As we continue to work more and fill our lives with goals, it’s crucial than ever to give ourselves mental space. Making time for mental space allows us to properly reflect on our lives, activities and goals. Peter Drucker once said:
“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”
How do you create that mental space? Let us know.