Finding clarity in the world today has never been more challenging.
It seems as though there is a distraction around every corner. Something preventing us from having the focus we need to do great work and the clarity we need to focus on what matters most.
We once dealt with TV and video games. Now, we have those mediums in our pockets and can access them along with a thousand other mediums at any moment.
Does anyone read those magazines in the doctor’s office anymore? When was the last time you just sat somewhere, in silence, without your phone in your hand?
Now, more than ever, we must learn to cultivate environments that bring us more focus and clarity. Our careers, our health, our relationships, and our mental well-being all depend on us getting this right.
By finding focus and clarity, we will bring these benefits to our lives:
- More presence
- Be more centered
- Be more creative
- Less stressed
We can live a more powerful intentional life with far less crap rattling around in our heads.
Here are some daily actions you can take that will increase your results in life.
Journal 10 minutes a day
“In the journal I am at ease.”
— Anais Nin
Journaling has so many benefits that provide mental clarity, it’s like a secret weapon. An underused secret weapon, at that.
Journaling is where you do the following, which all create clarity:
- Set higher picture goals
- Set your vision for the future
- Work through mental problems
- Work through conversations on paper, instead of raw emotions
- Deal with things that are rattling around in our heads
Writing in a journal each morning will allow you to put your mind at ease about the thousand things rattling around in our heads. Ideas. Thoughts. Emotions. Things we need to do, people to reach out to, and on and on and on.
Just stop, pick up a pen, and get it out of your head. You won’t regret it.
If you don’t listen to one thing on this list, please start journaling.
But don’t just take my word for it. Check out these resources on journaling and then try it.
And from one of the most well know journalers,
“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” Anne Frank
Go For Walks
“Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday, I walk myself into a state of well-being & walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.”
— Soren Kierkegaard
There is a reason that so many of the greatest writers, thinkers, and philosophers in history have been well-known walkers. But you don’t have to be a writer to be a walker and receive the benefits from this timeless activity.
Walking regularly, especially outdoors, is like giving your mind a break, and it allows your mind to gain clarity and thought on the things that truly matter. As Nietzsche said, “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
Our minds can’t work on level 10 all the time, and there is no better way to give our most significant muscle a break. The act of walking is not only healthy, but it will feed your brain and healthily stimulate your mind.
Take a 15-minute walk today. Don’t have time?
Walk during phone calls. Walk to the mailbox. Walk with someone you love.
Just go for a walk and clear your head.
Read 30 Minutes a Day
It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.
– Oscar Wilde
Reading a good book eases the mind after a stressful day. It allows you the opportunity to dive into a good book for a few moments and escape the difficulty of the day.
Reading allows your mind to find comfort while also learning something useful for your life. TV, news, and social media do not provide this. These things likely raise your stress levels and burn precious energy and emotion on crap that is pointless, or you have no control over.
Reading for 30 minutes or more a day will not only provide more wisdom, make you a better leader, and provide the knowledge you can’t gain from experience — but it will also provide focus and clarity.
Taking the time to read something good each day is another act of using your brain positively. Learn, think about what you are reading, take notes, and spend time digesting these great words.
Prayer and Meditate Daily
“Prayer is man’s greatest power.”
— W. Clement Stone
Spending time daily in prayer and meditation is incredibly powerful to your clarity. I will not get into the religious or spiritual implications on this one; that’s your call.
For me, I start every day and end every day with a prayer to a higher power. It brings peace, clarity, and comfort to my day, life, and decisions.
Whatever your preference or beliefs, find the time to spend in a quiet room to reflect, think, and pray or meditate about your life and your life’s vision.
“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.”
― John Locke
Because of our inability to find clarity and focus in our day, we have abandoned thinking. It used to be perfectly acceptable to sit in a room and just sit with your thoughts. Think. Digest the day.
Now, if you sit in a room with your thoughts in silence — without a TV, phone, or tablet — people think you are crazy.
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
Pascal said this in 1654, and yet how true is it today?
We have brains, and their purpose is to think. Things such as:
- Think about how to handle situations at work
- Think about how to handle situations with family
- Think about how to handle relationships
- Think about your future and what you want to create
Use your brain to think through ideas and to think on a higher level about where you want to take your life and who you want to become. You’d be surprised how few people are doing this and the advantage you may get.
Developing the ability to think clearly will bring an abundance of clarity and focus to your life.
“I have always believed exercise is a key not only to physical health but to peace of mind”
— Nelson Mandela
Not only does exercise burn calories, increase our cardiovascular health, and create a positive physical change, it boosts our mind. In fact, in my own life, exercising — mostly running — has been the most significant benefit to my mental clarity and mood enhancement.
Kelley McGonigal, the author of The Joy of Movement, says, “Around the world, people who are physically active are happier and more satisfied with their lives. They have a stronger sense of purpose and experience more gratitude, love, and hope. They feel more connected to their communities, and are less likely to suffer from loneliness or become depressed.”
When something is providing a stronger sense of purpose, gratitude, love, and hope — it gives our mind more clarity for what is truly important, while also freeing our brain for focus.
Find a workout that you enjoy and then do it. It doesn’t matter if it’s running, lifting, swimming, biking, or maybe it’s just more walking.
Get your body moving. Your focus and clarity will increase.
Limit Inputs In Your Life
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”
― Nir Eyal
How many times a day do you pull your phone out go through the “app cycle”? You know, that routine if apps you cycle through to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
Do yourself a favor, STOP! It’s a waste of mental space and clarity, and it’s killing your focus all at once.
- Stop checking Twitter every hour
- Stop checking email more than 2–3 times a day
- Stop scrolling Facebook every hour
- Stop checking ESPN, News, or anything else that doesn’t benefit you.
We only have so much clarity and focus available each day, and we can’t afford to spend so much of it on these.
Sleep 7–9 Hours
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
— Benjamin Franklin
Honestly, is there much to say here. If you don’t think that you need at least this amount of time to sleep, then try 8 hours of sleep a night for a month and see if your stress levels, mental clarity, and focus don’t improve.
Without the proper amount of sleep, your mind feels lethargic, scattered, and unable to focus at a high level. Sleep may seem unproductive to some people, but you will be far more productive if your brain is operating at its highest level, which happens with proper sleep.
Life happens, and things do prevent us from achieving this amount of sleep, trust me, I get it. But make a strong effort to get your sleep habit into this window. You won’t regret it.
Living with more focus and clarity will significantly increase your results in life. You will be far more present with the life you are living, which will provide a sense of peace and clarity that many people don’t experience daily.
Make these actions a part of your daily routine and watch how your focus and clarity lead to better results in life.
Ready to Win Each Day?
I’ve created a cheat sheet for winning every day! If you follow this daily, your life will change quickly!