Spring has sprung and it may be time for some spring cleaning. As you start putting winter clothes away and decluttering your home, take some time to de-clutter your mind too. When you think of spring cleaning you often think of tossing out or giving away unwanted items. Cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore; it can be a tiny awakening to freshness and clarity. De-cluttering your mind is also necessary for effective organization. Here are five tips to start spring cleaning your mind:

  1. Let it go. You are in control of your mind, and only you can determine whether you’re going to be happy today or aggravated and annoyed. Most things that aggravate people aren’t devastating. It’s the small things that can increase tension: a dripping faucet, a snide remark someone makes, discovering you’re out of milk, and so on. It’s ok if it bothers you for a moment, but if you let it bother you all day long, you’re taking up unnecessary space in your mind and causing yourself unnecessary stress.
  2. Ease your to-do list. A long to-do list can be both stressful and overwhelming. Take a look at your list and determine what can be eliminated. Can you say no to certain tasks or meetings? People tend to get into a habit of doing something just because that’s the way they’ve always done it. If your mind is always filled with thoughts of everything that must be done, it’s time to ease your mind and free up your list.
  3. Get it out of your head. With the abundance of paper, writing instruments and computers these days, it’s amazing how many people insist on keeping everything they have to do stored in their brains. Take the weight off your head, and write it down. If it’s on paper, you don’t have to remember. The paper remembers for you.
  4. Set boundaries. Constant interruptions from friends, family or coworkers can cause an extreme amount of stress, and a decline in productivity. Close your office door if you have one or set small timeframes of interruption free periods. Designate a space as your safe haven and tell your kids it’s off limits for a minimum of one hour each day. Remember, you have the power to stop the constant interruptions.
  5. One simple word—simplify. Get rid of things you don’t need. You’d be amazed at the things you could live without! Ease your schedule. Learn to say no. Rethink the things that are taking up hours of your time—buy clothes that don’t have to be taken to the dry cleaners, buy all your groceries in one supermarket, make meals you can cook in 30 minutes or less, figure out how your computer can do something for you, rather than you doing it manually, and so on. You’ll be simplifying your thoughts and your life.

We are always focused on taking care of others and put our needs on the backburner. Taking care of yourself should be priority. It doesn’t have to be a big production, but it might require a shift in your mind set. Once you make yourself a priority then you can be 100% prepared to focus on other things.

Sources:  Workplace Options,  www.getorganizednow.com , LifeWork Strategies EAP and Washington and Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Centers. For additional information, consult your physician.