This article is a guest post by writer Jenny Holt.
Our minds are tremendous biological machines, computing approximately 35,000 decisions on any given day. As an entrepreneur working hard to find the next new vision or to perfect your business, the volume of information and choices your brain processes each day could be far higher than these estimates. With so many different tasks requiring your attention in every working hour, it is essential that you cultivate effective habits of self-discipline in every area of your life – but especially in your mind. As multiple studies have shown that our mental energy for focus is finite, our minds need to be organized and decluttered of non-essential matters to maximize productivity, problem-solving, and aptitude for original ideas.
As with any process of organizing and decluttering, the best place to begin with focusing your mind is to set priority levels for what demands your mental energy. Prioritizing your responsibilities helps to highlight what matters most to you so that you can gear your thought processes and actions around your most essential tasks. This may mean that things that give you short-term enjoyment but take mental energy that is best used elsewhere may have to be cut. Yet even if this process of prioritizing responsibilities leads to putting immediate happiness aside, doing so will lead to greater success and satisfaction in the long run by freeing up your mental capacity to focus on achieving your goals.
Though menial tasks such as changing your sheets or washing the dishes may seem automatically delegated to the bottom of the responsibility list, making sure you have an organized living or working space can have an incredible effect on our mental space. Dedicate a couple of hours at the beginning of your week to complete the mindless tasks so that these responsibilities are out of the way, leaving less to distract you from your work. These items also usually require a different sort of mental energy, helping to give your mind a chance to rest before the hard work of your workweek.
Many of the greatest entrepreneurs and leaders of our time, from Mark Zuckerberg to Barack Obama, have developed daily habits to minimize the number of decisions they have to make every day. In doing so they avoid decision fatigue, or mental tiredness brought on by the sheer amount of time and energy spent on making choices, which can lead to reckless decisions or breakdown of your thought processes. When you prioritize your responsibilities, create daily to-do lists for the week so that you know exactly what you’re focusing on each day. Even something as simple as meal-prepping or setting outfits can help reduce your decisions and liberate mental space for key matters.
Your mind is your most important tool as an entrepreneur, and as such needs to be disciplined. You can declutter your minds by setting priorities, getting menial but important tasks out of the way, and avoiding decision fatigue by minimizing the number of decisions to be made on any given day. Doing so will not only organize your thoughts but sharpen your mind and vision to take you that much closer to success.
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