Top 10 Ways To Clear Your Mind Clutter

by Stephen Mills on October 10, 2009

  1. Meditate – There is probably no better way to clear the clutter from your mind than meditating.  Try more extended meditation once a day, but you can meditate for short periods of time in a quite place at work if you need to.  Try five minutes in a small conference room.
  2. Breathe – So very simple and effective.  You can do it almost anywhere or anytime.  Focus on just a few deep breaths and let your nagging and busy thoughts float away.
  3. Single-task – Aside from the productivity benefits, focusing on one thing at a time by definition clears your mind of everything else.
  4. Write it down – Almost every productivity system ever invented recommends writing down the things in your head so you they don’t keep popping into your mind.
  5. Be Present – Experience the now and let go of all the endless mind chatter and negative thoughts.
  6. Stop Worrying – All worry is unnecessary clutter.
  7. Filter Your Inputs – Your brain is processing the inputs whether you realize it or not.  Put on headphones with soothing music or white noise (I like rain sounds).  Go to a quiet room.  Stop checking email, Twitter, Facebook, feeds, etc.
  8. Say No – Every time you add another task or commitment you add another piece of clutter to your mind.  Just say no.
  9. Take a media break – Turn off the TV, don’t surf the net for stories or news, and ignore newspapers and magazines.  Once you get past the withdrawal symptoms, the resulting peace of mind is incredible.
  10. Declutter your space – Decluttering your surroundings will help remove visual clutter from your mind.  Less clutter just makes you feel more peaceful.

What are your favorite ways to clear your mind clutter?


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{ 3 trackbacks }

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October 12, 2009 at 12:43 pm
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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Armen Shirvanian October 10, 2009 at 11:02 pm

Hey Stephen.

I used to skip over parts I would see about meditation, but closing my eyes and thinking for a little bit sure is useful. I don’t discount its benefits now.

About writing it down, I do that for certain things and it sure makes them more likely to occur. I went ahead and did it right now thanks to your reminder.

On that point about decluttering your space, I do that at times, and also have been de-cluttering my mind of open loops or energy sinks lately, which has proved useful. I have more to do in that respect, though.

Thanks for this set.
.-= Armen Shirvanian´s last blog ..Outdoor Mountain Hiking Trail Adventure – Realistic Optimism =-.


Stephen Mills October 13, 2009 at 6:03 am

Armen, I used to skip all the meditation stuff too! Big mistake. The problem with meditation is that the benefits are not immediately obvious so you have to stick with it a while.


Greg October 10, 2009 at 11:42 pm

Top tip. Write it down. Works wonders for me, both at home and work.

Having a list provides a concrete representation of the challenge that lies before us. Then it can be tackled. Without that, its easy to feel overwhelmed.
.-= Greg´s last blog ..Poll: Do You Want To Grow Old? =-.


Stephen Mills October 13, 2009 at 6:18 am

Hi Greg, the thing about lists for me is that it gets it out of my head and prevents the list items from popping into my mind all the time with that “don’t forget such and such” interruption. Once I write them down I can “forget” them mentally, knowing they are duly recorded.


Gordie Rogers October 11, 2009 at 7:10 am

Writing things down removes worries and improves sleep. Keep a note and pen next to your bed so if you find yourself thinking about something you have to do, just write it down and forget about it. It will be on the pad when you wake up in the morning.
.-= Gordie Rogers´s last blog ..Saturday Spew And Shout Out: October 10th 2009. =-.


Stephen Mills October 13, 2009 at 6:19 am

Hi Gordie! You can also “talk it down”. I love the voice recorder on my blackberry.


Karen Chaffee October 11, 2009 at 7:23 am

These are good tips for freeing positive space in the mind. Some I practice; the rest I will add!

Thank you for the inspiration.


Stephen Mills October 13, 2009 at 6:20 am

Hello Karen. I’m glad you found it useful. Thanks for stopping in to comment!


Positively Present October 11, 2009 at 7:41 am

Great advice, especially the part about being present. Whenever I’m able to do this (which isn’t as often as I’d like), I’m a LOT more at peace with myself and all of the clutter in my mind seems to sort itself out.
.-= Positively Present´s last blog ..words to live by: waking up to a new day =-.


Stephen Mills October 13, 2009 at 6:21 am

Hey Dani, someday I need to meet you. I imagine you as the energizer bunny that keeps going and going 🙂 Thanks for hopping by.


Vin - NaturalBias October 11, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Great suggestions, Stephen! I have a good one to add to the list – listen to soothing music. It’s such an easy and passive thing to do, and I’ve found it to be very effective, especially when I do it on a regular basis.
.-= Vin – NaturalBias´s last blog ..Why the P90X Exercise Program is Overrated =-.


Stephen Mills October 13, 2009 at 6:23 am

Hey Vin, that’s a great one. I too like to listen to great music and I can’t believe I left it out.


Miche - Serenity Hacker October 12, 2009 at 12:52 am

Great list Stephen! I just wrote something similar today, about how beneath our boredom is the voice of intuition, if we just tune in. But part of tuning in involves eliminating all the mind-clutter! Interestingly, I toyed with a very similar post title to yours without having seen this yet.

Saturday I took a media free, phone free, distraction free day of complete silence. It was awesome.


Stephen Mills October 13, 2009 at 6:01 am

Hi Miche, great minds think alike I guess 🙂

I read your article and it was wonderful. I don’t take a sabbath day very often but boy when I have it has been fantastic. Thanks for your contribution here and I love your blog.


meatlessmama October 12, 2009 at 10:39 am

I agree with Vin, I also like soothing music in the background.
And “All worry is unnecessary clutter” is brilliant, I’m writing that down.
.-= meatlessmama´s last blog ..The Perfect Cup of Hot Cocoa =-.


Stephen Mills October 13, 2009 at 6:25 am

Hello meatlessmama. I agree with you and Vin. I can’t believe I forgot that one. Thanks for your continued support.


Miche - Serenity Hacker October 12, 2009 at 12:37 pm

I just updated my last post to include this list as a resource! 🙂
.-= Miche – Serenity Hacker´s last blog ..How to Get From Boredom to Intuition =-.


Stephen Mills October 13, 2009 at 6:25 am

Thanks Miche!


David | October 12, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Great post Stephen.

One of my favorite ways to clear my mind clutter is walking and listening to a good relaxing music (for example: abraham’s theme from Vangelis).

I also like to make a one day trip to be in contact with nature. For those of us who live in big cities sometimes we need to get away from urban stress and revitalize our minds breathing fresh air.


Stephen Mills October 13, 2009 at 6:28 am

David, I thought about including the walking thing but I decided to limit it to 10. I agree though, walking is a great way to clear your mind if you focus on being present and dropping the mind chatter. When I used to walk it would allow my mind to go crazy. I had to focus on just taking in my surroundings and keeping my mind clear. Listening to soothing music while you walk is a fantastic idea! Thanks!


Nea | Self Improvement Saga October 13, 2009 at 5:02 pm

10 excellent solutions! I’d say I have about 8 of those completely under control. I find that being present is something that I go back and forth with. But it’s like anything else, getting off track just means you have the opportunity to get back on.
.-= Nea | Self Improvement Saga´s last blog ..What It Really Takes to Achieve the Impossible =-.


Randy Webster October 16, 2009 at 8:45 pm

No doubt, meditation is the best way to quiet your mind… I just started 3 month ago, and wow… What a different life…. I found a great meditation thru Dr Wayne Dyer.. Its called meditation for manifesting… GREATTTTTTT



Tasneem April 30, 2011 at 2:01 am

Is this blog still active?Hope I get a reply. I’m a 23 year old girl .From a long time I’m having trouble falling asleep.Somedays I decide to sleep through the night and i do it ! I wake up all fresh.But suddenly a wild insane thought comes to my mind out of the blue which doesn’t let me sleep even if I feel sleepy . The thought is something like this-”why should i sleep?I wont be in the present then. I wont know whats happening and why to waste time in unconscious state?’ Now I know Stephen that this would have sounded weird to you but this is the way it is for me. I am troubled buy this thought.This had occurred before also and I had disturbed sleep for a while and one fine day I made up my mind to sleep at nights and I did really well.But the thought has again come and I’m having trouble falling asleep since past 20-25 days.HELP!


Max October 15, 2011 at 12:10 pm

What a load of fucking crap none of this shot works it just makes things worse


Max October 15, 2011 at 12:10 pm



Max October 15, 2011 at 12:11 pm

The best way to do it is get off your ass and joins gym that’s how you clear your head


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