7 Ways to Clear Your Cluttered Mind in About 15 Minutes

You know those days when you have so. much. to. do… but your brain is one big jumble and just keeps spinning? Your frustration level rises because you can’t seem to finish even one single thing. Take heart, my fellow overthinker… here’s a handy list of 7 quick ways to clear your mind so you can stop the overwhelm and feel a little more productive on those distraction-filled days.

How to declutter your mind is an important skill to learn when you’re working on living your life while setting and accomplishing powerful goals at the same time. Keep this list of things to help clear your mind nearby for the next time your brain is churning and won’t be quiet long enough for you to complete your most important tasks. 

white desktop with office items and text overlay ways to quickly declutter your mind

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Why You Need a List of Ways to Clear Your Mind

Breaking the cycle of overthinking is rarely easy. Those of us who struggle usually feel like we never get a break from all the words and lists and images and replays of prior events and conversations. 

All of those thoughts pile up and run through our head on an endless loop. 

So when it’s time to get down to work and we find our minds churning instead of focusing, what can we do?

Here are 7 ways to take a mini-break from the cycle of overthinking so you can accomplish at least a few tasks from your daily list.

Will all of these ways to declutter your mind work for you? Probably not, but it only takes one to make you feel better! 🙂

Will these permanently ‘fix’ an overthinking mind? Not individually, but practicing the things that work for you from this list along with other healthy brain habits and regular routines will help a LOT.

How to Clear a Cluttered Mind

1. Do a brain dump

You may have the initial feeling that writing out a big list of your thoughts will only make you think MORE and take longer to get down to work, but it usually works exactly the opposite. 

Putting your thoughts, worries, and tasks down in writing means you don’t have to hold them all in your head while you’re trying to concentrate on what you’re really supposed to be doing.

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2. Journal about your cluttered thoughts

Journaling can be a different sort of brain dump. If there is a big issue weighing on your mind, writing about it can help you work through what’s going on. 

Or if your mind is spinning with too many emotions, writing them out will help you feel ‘settled’ by getting everything down on paper.

3. Get moving

If you’re frustrated by your lack of focus, walk away from your current space… and keep walking for a few minutes. Take a stroll outside if possible to place maximum distance between you and your struggles. The fresh air and movement will do wonders for your brain clarity. 

4. Drink water or have a snack

When your brain is running a million miles an hour, it’s using energy. Replenish that with plenty of water and a high-protein energy snack. 

Try to avoid sugar — the quick rush isn’t worth how much worse you will feel shortly afterward. 

Don’t mindlessly snack all day at your desk, though. Make a production out of moving to a different area to get your snack, and concentrate on the action of nourishing yourself. 

Sometimes that break is exactly what your mind needs to move from overthinking to focusing

5. Meditate and breathe

I know, you’re probably thinking the idea of meditation is a little bit ridiculous. Who can sit and think of NOTHING when your mind is packed with cluttered thoughts? 

I urge you to at least try meditation accompanied by deep breathing as a way to have a clear mindset. 

You don’t have to do it perfectly, and it doesn’t mean you have to empty your mind. It’s more about learning to recognize what’s happening right NOW and develop better focus. 

You won’t be an expert the first time you try this. But even practicing for 5 or 10 minutes a day can make a huge difference over time.

Do you find yourself breathing very shallowly when you’re thinking too much and feeling stressed? Or maybe even holding your breath? I’ll bet you do, even if you haven’t noticed before. It happens to me all the time. 

Try this: When you feel those thoughts piling up and spinning out of control, stop what you’re doing, close your eyes, and breathe as deeply as possible. Breathe from your diaphragm… it almost feels like breathing from your stomach instead of the top of your chest. Hold that breath for a few counts before letting it out slowly. 

Combining meditation and very deep breathing for about 10-15 minutes will leave you feeling incredibly refreshed. When you open your eyes, it often feels like you’ve just taken a nap. That feeling, along with the increased oxygen from deep breathing, will help your mind work more efficiently as you get back to work.

hands typing on keyboard surrounded by glasses, coffee and office items on white desk

6. Set a timer and just do your best

Sometimes having a time limit causes too much stress to get anything accomplished. But other times, you just need that starting point. 

Say ‘I’m going to do this ONE THING for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off I can quit.’ 

I often find the act of deciding WHAT to work on is the true factor for initial focus. And having the option to quit after a short times give my mind the freedom to go all-in on that one thing. 

If I know I don’t HAVE to slog through completing an entire project in one session, I can usually get enough done in just a few minutes that I’m motivated to keep going before all those extra thoughts start crowding back into my brain. 

Give it a try and see how it works for you.

7. Block distractions

This is a no-brainer really, but most of us still don’t do it. 

  • Work at a clutter-free desk.
  • Use website-blocking apps on your computer.
  • Turn off your phone and place it in another room.
  • Find a quiet place to work or go someplace where people won’t constantly talk to you.
  • Use technology to pop up reminders for important events like appointments or picking up your children from school.

How Long Does It Take to Declutter Your Mind?

Each of the tips to clear your mind on this list take about 15 minutes. 

Set a timer if you have to, and then afterward you can get to work with a refreshed mind.

You don’t want to find yourself working through this entire list, one thing after another, spending 15 minutes on EACH item and never actually getting to work. At that point, you’ve turned a positive tactic into a reason to procrastinate.  

So remember, try ONE tip to clear your mind, and then get back to the main project you’re supposed to be working on.

jumbled gold binder clips and office supplies on white desk against white wall

More Solutions for Overwhelmed Overthinkers

How to Develop Your Finishing Instinct: The Magic Final Step to Real Productivity

5 Ways Overwhelmed Overthinkers Can Beat Procrastination

Eliminate Decision Fatigue — Add “Flow” to Your Day & Relieve Stress

10 Tiny Tasks for Easy Wins {When You Feel Too Lazy to Move}

Stop Thinking and Start Doing: A Goal Setting Starter Plan

Concluding Thoughts About Mindset and Focus

There are a couple of things I want you to please remember about work, focus, and overthinking.

1. Show yourself grace. 

Keep a flexible schedule if possible. That way, if none of these ways to clear your mind are working, you can shuffle your projects and complete something more appropriate to you brain capacity for the day.

2. Focus is not always about how to clear a cluttered mind. 

Instead, it may be a matter of just doing the job to the best of your current capacity and then putting it out there even if you don’t think it’s perfect.

That said, I hope this list of things to help clear your mind helps you every day as you Build Your Best Life.

You’ve got this! 

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