Do you ever find yourself easily distracted? Or find yourself having trouble concentrating? Forgetting too much? You might be experiencing brain fog.
Extreme brain fog can be a signal of a medical condition. If you think that might be true of you – be sure to get the appropriate care from a health professional.
If you have mild to moderate brain fog, however; you might find the following self-leadership tips helpful.
Here are 7 ways for personal leaders to clear away a little brain fog.
1.Keep yourself hydrated. In studies, dehydration has been shown to impair cognitive performance and mood. In some studies even a 1% decrease has had a negative effect.
While you are at it, why not make sure your diet is rich in nutrient- dense foods in appropriate amounts too. All those nutrients help to keep your brain operating at it’s best.
2.Try some Brain Gym type exercises: Exercises to help your left and right brain make a better connection with each other.
A simple one? Stretch your arms straight out in front of you – thumbs up and fingers tucked in. Do big circles with your arms remaining out in front of you. Follow your thumb nails with both eyes. This is asking your eyes to follow your thumbs through all the visual access areas in addition to you using the logical and creative side of your brain.
3.Simplify and focus on less. Confusion and delay can sign that too much on your plate is too important. Entertain the idea of simplifying. When you simplify, you make choices of what is truly meaningful and then focus on that. Simplifying is also allowing things to fall away – by choice.
Here is a very simple exercise: Take a blank piece of paper and fold it half and then half again. Open the paper and you will have 4 quadrants. Label each quadrant as follows:
Urgent AND important
Important and Non Urgent
Urgent and Non Important
Non Urgent and Non important
Next under each heading as appropriate list out your mental to-do list, putting the Urgent and Important items under that header, Important and non-urgent under that header and so on. Afterward – as a suggestion, why not think about abandoning the non-urgent and non-important items. They don’t seem to be meaningful to you. Then focus your energy on what falls into the two categories “What is urgent and important” and “what is important“.
Look here for some additional ways to focus and simply in your self-leadership.
4.Take on a mental organization practice. There are many forms of mental practices which clear the fog while giving you a sense of ease. For example, you could write morning pages – a practice made popular by Julia Cameron in the Artist Way. You might want to try Mind mapping, writing lists or try some simple mind clearing techniques.
5.Connect with Awareness. There is a place, in the gap between your thoughts, where awareness of awareness lives. Slow down and allow yourself to be in the aliveness of the gap. One of the best places I know to allow clarity to come and the fog to dissipate.
6.Take a time out. Take a time out to slow down, take a nap, take a walk, listen to some slow-beat music or create a change of place or mind. Making a change in your current state is one of the most effective ways to revitalize your thinking. Let go of any practice of over committing yourself.
7.Shut away your committee of internal critics. A loud and active internal dialogue can create a lot of fogginess. Choosing to set aside the internal self-talk and have things be quiet in their can create enough space for your heart’s brain to send you a clear message.
Simplicity is the art of paying attention to that which is truly essential in your life. In order to simplify your life – it’s about both paying attention to what is essential for you to thrive, as well as what is non-essential and what pulls you down.
Understanding what is truly essential for you to thrive in this world is a cornerstone to being an effective personal leader. Just think how the skill of understanding and leveraging simplicity could be important in times when resources are limited. Think too how voluntary simplicity can be beneficial in times of abundance for when we have more – we can share more.
Simplicity is both practical and spiritual in nature. Simplicity relates to having a clear mind, getting organized, trying to declutter or unclutter. It also is about paying attention to your resources and to your level of support. Simplicity can also be an important part of green living.
In short, simplicity is a power. It’s a power that can be leveraged in bad times or good. It’s a power to be able to make distinctions between what is essential and what is non-essential. It’s also a power when you have a plan to see the most direct route from A to Z simply.
Simplicity can become an important tool in your tool-kit in times of chaos. Just think how having too-much-on-your-plate slows down your productivity. Now imagine your plate with only 3 things on it. You could be more productive around a limited number of things – couldn’t you?
It seems like it’s part of human nature to over complicate things. When we over complicate things – often there is some drag and slower productivity. It not only slows down what we can produce – it also slows down our ability to be crystal clear. When we instead keep things simple – we can go farther, faster and deeper into things because we are not bogged down by the non-essential.
Henry David Thorough once said “Our lives are frittered away by detail” – and all you have to do is look at someone’s email box, twitter account or Facebook page nowadays to see how easily it is to get caught up in the busy-ness of a day. How many times have you said to yourself – “Where did my day go?” or “I haven’t accomplished much today”. The truth is – just the things that emerge in a day – can often pull most all of our energy. Simplicity practices remind you to do what is meaningful – not just what keeps you busy.
Finding a simpler way through the different mazes of your life happens when you identify what is truly meaningful to you, what is essential to your thrival, and then – aligning your focus and energy to that “meaningful essential-ness”. It’s also about fully integrating the change you choose to embrace .
In the meaning time…
If you are looking for how to simplify your ways, here are 7 essential keys to simplicity:
1. Set limits on EVERYTHING
Too much of anything can cause chaos. When you begin to practice setting limits and boundaries with things like your possessions, your words, (like your yes’s ), your thoughts or even your behaviours, you do a number of things. One of the most importing is – you limit the energy you expend. Limiting your energy leaves you with the abundant energy you need to work on what is both meaningful for you and essential for your own ability to thrive.
Let’s look a common example: Do you have “automatic yes’s in your life? You know those times when ever someone asks you to do something. You may not have taken the time to consider for example what your actual energy reserves are, or even if what is asked of you -is important to you personally. A simplicity limit may mean delaying your response for 24hours until you have time to think and feel things through.
Another common example is around the clutter you may have in your physical environment or spaces. When your spaces are full – it often doesn’t leave room for things that truly inspire you – or give easy access to those things that are really meaningful to you. Limiting or eliminating clutter can open up more than just the top of the table, it can be an energy booster too.
2.Reclaim some space
Reclaiming space has everything to do with clearing clutter. It’s about creating enough space and decluttering and uncluttering so that you can move, you can think, you can vision, you can organize and you can utilize.
Reclaiming space isn’t about creating emptiness; it’s about creating meaningfulness. When you right-size to what is truly meaningful, you create an environment that is peaceful, inspirational, resourceful and effective.
Living and working simplistically is not a project that has a “done date” on it. An extremely important component when taking on a simpler lifestyle is to recognize “continual editing ” becomes a permanent practice. We are always exposed to new thoughts, new activities, and new items in our lives – before long -things begin to pile up.
4.Creating systems and flow
Some of the complexity we create in our lives – happens unnecessarily. As things move faster and faster in your world . (Are you noticing it?) You are forced to make more and more decisions each day. One thing that can create ease – can be having a system – or a flow while doing activities. Something layed out where you know … these are steps 1.2.3 and when you will do them. By setting up simple systems for yourself – things can move forward faster, because you have eliminated the need for additional decision making and possible delays. A great example of this is a filing technique called File,Act,Toss. It’s simple and it is a system. It’s a way of only handling a piece of paper once. There are tons and tons of simple systems you could employ – it’s just a matter of finding the ones that work for you.
What I do for myself is create little flow graphs – which operate like a check-list. I do the routine every morning just by following my flow guide. As a result, I clear my email box of an average of 200-300 emails , have done my daily filing and have made my project plan for the day . I do it in the same way – every day and because there is a simple flow to it, the process takes me about 15minutes. It’s efficient because I don’t spend time thinking “What shall I do next?”. I’ve got a simple system.
5.Maintaining a clear mind
Having a clear mind is essential to simplicity-living. When your mind is clear it allows you to focus with clarity on what’s meaningful for you. Having a clear process for things like decision making, planning, goal setting and even dreaming is essential to creating a practice of focus – and it is this meaningful focus which is at the root of living a life based in simplicity.
6.Align your living to your life’s purpose
Because identifying what is essential is such a key component to having greater simplicity in your life – it only makes make sense that you might ask “Essential for what specifically?” Your life purpose can be your “WHAT”. When you have a clear and defined purpose – what also becomes clearer is what you value. Living into your values and purpose – will aid you greatly in identifying what is essential and what is non-essential. This all leads you to the path of living your days in a simpler way.
7.Remember that we are all one.
The awareness that we are all one can be a great inspiration to live more simply in life. Gandhi was quoted as saying “Live simply so that others may simply live”. Think about how your own personal consumerism -it may just wake up your awareness to the benefits of living in a simpler way.