Let’s face it, we live in a very chaotic time. We’re always on the go and being busy is often seen as a badge of honor. When we do have some down time, we’re on our phones checking email, social media, etc. It’s no wonder so many people feel overwhelmed.
With all those things swirling around in your head, it’s often difficult to find clarity.
Why is clarity important? When you have clarity, you:
- Can make solid decisions
- Know what the next step is
- Feel confident in moving forward
Clarity also can support you as you honor your values. It can help you understand what is negotiable and what’s not. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to also set clear boundaries that support you and the way you want to live.
So…how do you find clarity within chaos? Here are 3 ways:
Clear Your Mind
This sounds simple, but for most of us it’s not easy.
Taking time to meditate can be one of the best ways to clear your mind. There are lots of different apps available (e.g., Calm, Headspace) that can support you.
I’ve tried some of the meditation apps and they didn’t work for me. Instead, I find doing something I love to do (that doesn’t involve work or technology) helps me clear my mind. Here are a few examples of non-meditation things you may want to do:
- Spend time in nature
I find time spent in nature, especially walking on the beach, helps me to shed all the “stuff” that’s swirling around in my head. When I get back from my walk, my mind is clear and I’m ready to go!
- Play with your pets
I love playing with my 2 kittens! I’m so focused on watching them, and usually laughing, that I completely disconnect from everything else. This allows my mind to settle, and I return to my work refreshed.
- Do something creative
One of my friends loves to doodle. When she is doodling, she is completely present and engaged with what she is creating. All that chaos she was feeling ends up on the page! When she’s done, she has the open space in her brain to start fresh.
- Do a brain dump
This can be a great way to clear your mind. You can find out how to do this in my “Keep It Simple” Newsletter. This tool is helpful because you get everything out of your head and on to paper. Since you’re freeing up your brain, you’re now able to clearly approach your tasks. Your brain no longer needs to try to keep track of everything PLUS make decisions.
Again, this sounds like it would be simple, but it can be challenging.
We are inundated with so much information all the time that it can be hard to focus. People will claim they are wonderful at multi-tasking, but the truth is our brains are a single threaded machine.
Finding ways to stop distractions and interruptions so you can stay focused and maintain clarity is critical. I use two tools together that help me do this. They are:
- The timer app
I love to set my timer for 20-minutes and then do a task that needs focus. What’s nice about using a timer is that once it rings, I can decide if I want to continue or stop what I’m doing. It’s also very flexible. You can use it for short amounts of time or long timeframes.
- The focus function on my Apple products
Setting my focus to “Work” or “Do Not Disturb”, keeps reminders, text messages, etc. from popping up on my devices. This allows me to maintain my focus on the task at hand. It’s amazing how much I can do when I’m not sidetracked.
Talk with a trusted confidante
There is something very powerful about talking with someone you trust when you’re looking for clarity.
As a coach there have been times when having my client say something out loud gives them the clarity they were looking for.
It’s also valuable to have a rich conversation with someone who will be honest and kind, as you’re working something out. Additionally, your confidant may share a perspective you hadn’t considered before that can shift everything for you. Or, they may say one word that helps to slide all the puzzle pieces into place.
I can sometimes make things more complicated than they need to be. When I talk with my coach, she often helps me see when something is already clear and I’m ready to move on.
Finding clarity within chaos can feel like you’re putting on eyeglasses. Before you put them on, everything is blurry. Once you have the glasses on, every is crystal clear and you can move forward with purpose and confidence!