Have you experienced foggy thinking lately?
When you sense something is amiss, that state when you feel a bit lost, maybe mind wandering, being directionless, lots of aimless action, all leading to no achievements.
Maybe it’s a problem you are trying to solve at work, or a goal you seek to set, a choice or decision you are contemplating. A part of you feels it’s essential, yet you can’t come to identify why it is so.
Some describe it as a state of being in a slumber with their eyes open, a feeling of dullness, heaviness. Some others call it a brain freeze, nothing is clear, and that feels overwhelming. The opposite state is that of clarity. Clear thoughts, a sense of knowing, lightness, feeling bright and energetic.
Clarity has immense power to shift you from knowing to doing, from idea to execution.
Clarity plays a vital role in bringing vague concepts to life, helping you make wiser choices, decisions, as well as influencing your outcome and consequences.
Here are seven questions you can ask yourself to move from a state of foggy thinking to one of clarity.
1. What do I wish to achieve?
It could be something you want to get this year, month or week.
It could even be something you want to identify for today. If that too seems complicated, how about asking yourself, “what do I wish to achieve at this moment?”
It could be that you want to feel calmer or relax; maybe you want to get started on something, feel more energetic or productive.
Begin by identifying what you want right now and move forward from there, let this moment lead you onto the next, and that then takes you to the one after and before you know it, you are identifying what you wish to do this hour, today, this week, month and year.
2. What makes this important
Understanding the place of some task/project or goal in your life leads to a couple of things.
- A sense of motivation
- Level of Priority
Devoting time and energy to everything that calls out to you would mean lesser resource availability for that which truly matters.
Distractions lean at every corner; knowing what’s important helps you focus your time and energy there and shut the door on everything else.
3. How will I benefit?
Your motivation is linked to things that benefit you, things that make you feel good, please you and help you avoid pain.
These could be habits that serve you as well as one’s that don’t.
Getting clear on what’s in it for you is like opening the tap of motivation that will then keep you on course and help you get things done.
4. What is needed to make this happen?
After identifying what you wish to achieve and why it’s time to focus on the actions, list everything that comes to mind.
At this stage, the purpose is to gather information and once you have a few options, sift through them from practicality and feasibility point of view.
Choose actions that will have the most impact; the idea is to do a few things and do them well.
5. Who do I need to be to achieve this?
Work to enhance your self-awareness, understand what changes you need to make to achieve the things that matter.
Maybe it’s your state of health and energy; perhaps it’s your ability to focus and concentrate or the way you use your time.
Keep moving yourself to higher levels of awareness and ability so you can achieve more meaningful, more challenging goals.
The more you stretch, the more you will grow.
6. What’s the first step?
Every outstanding achievement started with a first step.
Your first step needn’t necessarily be grand or a high impact one. All that matters is you start, get moving and take that first step.
7. What’s the next step?
Each time you take a small action, asking yourself what’s next is the easiest way to keep moving, to create momentum and make progress.
You don’t have to have figured out all the steps needed to achieve your goal; just knowing what’s next ensures you keep at it and make consistent progress.
A series of whats next will eventually bring you to your destination and the joy of achieving it.
Clarity has immense power. Pursue it!
Additional Points to Ponder
- When do I find it hard to think clearly?
- What changes in my daily routine could positively impact my thinking?
- Who could help me think better?
- The Art of thinking clearly – Rolf Dobelli
- The One Thing – Gary Keller
- Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman