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How to Reduce Your Mental Load.

It is Sunday evening. How many of us have already started to think about Monday morning? How many of us are stuck in sheer habit doing Sunday night tasks that get us ready for Monday? How many of us are preparing for a day where we are going to do exactly what we should be […]

It is Sunday evening. How many of us have already started to think about Monday morning? How many of us are stuck in sheer habit doing Sunday night tasks that get us ready for Monday?

How many of us are preparing for a day where we are going to do exactly what we should be doing with our lives? Or how many of us are going back to work in the morning because we don’t even have the headspace to see what other options there are out there?

To allow ourselves to stand back and evaluate our lives, we need headspace. So how can we get it, in this crazy busy world? There are a million things we can do in the workplace, but lets start with your private life first.

1 – Make fewer decisions

A lot of us have decision fatigue. We decide thousands of menial things each day. What to eat. For breakfast, for lunch, for dinner. What to wear. What time or who is picking up the kids. Who left the money out for activities that are on this week. Deciding whether you have time to go for that meal on Friday night and all of the logistical things you have to arrange just to make that happen. Figuring out how to get food into the fridge. Blah blah blah. The list goes on. Monotony and grind, but it all uses up headspace that is so, so precious. So then we have no headspace to actually stand back and look at our lives.

So how can you reduce the number of decisions you have to make each day?

Wear the same thing (have several versions of the same outfit) – if you can’t bring yourself to do that, have an outfit that is preselected for each day of the week, so there are no ‘decisions’ to make.

Say no to invites where you really don’t have time or the energy.

Use a meal delivery service or, if finances allow, hire a chef who comes in and meal preps twice per week. If finances don’t allow, meal prep twice per week yourself. Write down once, what is for breakfast lunch and dinner each day so again you don’t have to take time to decide. Have it all on autopilot.

2 – Do Less Stuff. Have Less Stuff.

Say no more than you say yes.

Look at your life. What is an absolute must, an absolute need that you simply cannot not do. An example would be feeding your children.

Everything else is fluff. Delete it. You will be amazed at how many hours you get back. I often find it interesting when people try so hard to convince themselves that they have to do such and such, because it is so important. But really, is it? One thing I learned when I was ill for 4 years is that the essentials happened and everything else didn’t even matter in the first place. People fell away. Things fell away. And it didn’t even matter. So I had been running around like the proverbial fly for years, convincing myself that my busyness was all a necessity, when in actual fact I had just allowed myself to believe that. And made myself very ill in the process.

Ever feel so free and clear when you do a massive clear out of your belongings to the charity shop? There is a reason. A cleanse of your home office, your files and your wardrobes can help your mental clarity no end. Go and do it.

3 – Have a low maintenance life partner

If you and your other half if you have one are on different planets, it makes your life more difficult and you need to spend more time worrying about their reactions to things. Be with someone who gets 100% what you are doing and what you are trying to achieve and does not hold you back from it, or make you feel guilty for doing it.

4 – Turn off distractions

This is my favourite and it was another I learned when I was long term ill. The pings, the dings, the swooshes, the dongs. My goodness, all of the notifications and alerts that are on our phones can really send us to distraction. And they make us too reactive.

So pick up your phone now and delete every single app that is not necessary for you to exist. Just delete it. You will be surprised as to how little you miss it. Next up your desktop, clear it. Bin everything. File all essentials on google drive and get rid of the rest. Bookmark your most important sites for ease of access and get rid of the rest.

Unsubscribe methodically from every single person you have signed up to follow. I only follow one person, who is phenomenal, everything else is just noise. So delete them.

Turn off all notifications to your phone. Your email can be checked when you are in your email, as can your whatsapp, as can your messages. The lack of incessant ding ding ding all day can really help clear headspace for you. Don’t scroll through social media feeds. If you have to use it for business, grand. Go on, to the task at hand. Then get out. You can waste literally chunks of your life on those things.

5 – Align with your North Star

Every “thing” that happens causes a reaction in us. Some of us can jump to attention too quickly. Some of us can overreact on the spot. But stop for a moment. Look at the thing objectively. Is it going to help us go towards our goal (our North Star) or away from it? If it is not taking us closer, ignore it and don’t allow it to take up precious space in our minds.

Once you become a ninja at saying no, cutting decisions and fluff out of your life, you will be amazed at how much more headspace you have to start evaluating where you are in life and if you are doing exactly what it is you were meant to do.

When you get that time, head over and visit my website http://www.maeveferguson.com and watch my case study. If you would like to work with me, to change what it is you are doing with your life, to do what it is you really want, schedule a call with me and we will make it happen.

M

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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