When you don’t have clarity, it is easy to end up feeling stuck, frustrated and not knowing what to do. It can also trigger all sorts of other negative feelings like self-doubt, self-criticism and feeling unfulfilled, to name but a few. Those things will fuel that cycle of lack of clarity even more and can create more confusion. This cycle persists unless you find a way to break it. A simple, but very effective, way to start breaking that cycle and get on the path to clarity is this:

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A Simple Way To Get More Clarity

A simple way to get more clarityWhen you don’t have clarity, it is easy to end up feeling stuck, frustrated and not knowing what to do.

It can also trigger all sorts of other negative feelings like self-doubt, self-criticism and feeling unfulfilled, to name but a few.

Those things will fuel that cycle of lack of clarity even more and can create more confusion.

This cycle persists unless you find a way to break it.

A simple, but very effective, way to start breaking that cycle and get on the path to clarity is this:

Put your computer, phone, gadgets, apps and any other gizmo you use to micro manage yourself down. Step away from the gadgets!

Then grab yourself some paper and pen. Yes, the humble and simple paper and pen is going to help you break the cycle and take the first steps to getting more clarity. Here’s how:

Write the thing that you want to get more clarity on at the top of the piece of paper. (I like to use a notebook that I can keep all my thoughts in one place over a period of time and refer back to. But just a scrap of paper is fine too). 

Then allow yourself a few minutes to let your mind wander and process around that topic. Don’t try and force it or to leap to knowing “how” at this stage. Just allow yourself time to think and mull it over.

The reason this is important is because all too often a big part of the problem with lack of clarity is that you just don’t have time and mental space to think and process.

We live in world that is far too over-busy and over-scheduled. You won’t get clarity if you are permanently in that state.

Your brain needs time and space to think to get clarity. And the blank piece of paper is helping you do that.

When it feels right for you, start to write your thoughts and whatever is coming up for you down on the paper. Let it flow and morph into ideas, self-questioning, considering options, working through pros and cons. Have fun with it. Challenge yourself.

Don’t worry if nothing comes to you straight away. Be patient. Play with it. Don’t be attached to getting clarity immediately. See it as a process. A bit like peeling an onion – there are different layers you need to cut through to get to the core of it. Maybe it will take a few attempts before the clarity starts to evolve for you. Choose to be at peace with that.

Use what comes out of this exercise to inform the next small steps you could take to move forward.

Making clarity a priority will serve you in many ways and on many different levels. Here is an important one to keep in mind:

The more clarity you have the more clear the action you need to take will be. The more clear and specific the action you take is, the better the results you want to achieve will be.

Have fun playing with this simple but powerful way to break the cycle and take the first steps to getting on the path to clarity.

This simple tool might not be the latest in bright, shiny, high tech, wizzy objects. But do not underestimate the power of the humble paper and pen as part of the process. Often it is the simplest of tools that deliver the most effective solutions.

Let me know how you get on with this exercise in the comments below, and any other views and experiences you have on getting clarity.

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  • Awesome! You are so right here. I was just going to go out and buy myself some more legal pads today, love those. Your post reminds me of all the reasons I meditate. That blank page is the open mind one tries to create through meditation. I think we all forget that we need space in order to be able to function well. Thanks!

    Anita

  • Ali Davies

    Anita, agree with you on meditation. So powerful and beneficial.

  • Excellent advice! I’m going to try this next time. Clarity eludes me more often than not of late. I like to just go out side on the deck for a few, listen to the birds, watch my dogs be lazy dogs. But the writing it down is wise. Thank you.

  • Ali Davies

    Hi Lisa, totally with you on the going outside in the fresh air and nature – food for the soul! Plus it gives the mind time and space to just wander. After that, collating your thoughts onto paper can be a very powerful way to bring it all together and move it into something that creates change or moves you forward.

  • Terrific and timely advice for my cluttered mind today! Thanks Ali. I think I’ll take it outside too.

  • Ali Davies

    Glad you found it useful Jennifer. And great idea to do the exercise outside. I work outdoors as much as possible. I find it helps the thinking process.

  • I have a little time alone this week and I’m going to do this. I find myself very scatter brained often and I know it’s because I have too much clutter in my little pea brain. Time to clean it out and focus.
    Thanks!
    b

  • Ali Davies

    Barbara, good for you giving it a go. Have fun with it.

  • Wow! Our two posts couldn’t have been better planned if we tried!
    Today, I wrote about my absence from my blog for the last month and how much of my struggle came from a lack of clarity. I so easily lost my desire to continue because I had allowed things to go in the wrong direction.
    Out came the pen and paper; the good, old-fashioned journal. We can’t forget how simple it really can be.

  • Ali Davies

    Delighted my post was so timely for you. And you are so right, about how simple it can all be – simplifying like crazy makes a big difference.

  • I think that’s a great idea. I like the idea of putting all tech aside and just spending some time with you and a notebook. I’m going to give this a try for sure. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Ali Davies

    Have fun with it Carolann.

  • This is a great technique. Usually when I feel overwhelmed, I close my eyes for about twenty minutes and go into a very light sleep state, almost like hypnosis. I feel refreshed and clear-headed once I open my eyes again.

  • Ali Davies

    I can relate to what you are saying there Marcia. For me, that is very similar to meditation which I find very powerful.

  • Such a good reminder! Paper + pen + time = Clarity. As I head into a very busy time at work, and my thoughts are feeling a bit muddled, this is a timely reminder of what I need to do. 🙂 Thanks!

  • Ali Davies

    Carina, I have always found paper and pen a create way for getting more clarity. Have fun playing with it to help un-muddle your mind.

  • This was perfect timing, Ali, so thanks so much for writing this piece. I spend too much time working and all on my laptop. I need to power down, step away, and write, write, write. It’s important both physically, emotionally and spiritually to do this. Many thanks for reminding me of that.

  • Ali Davies

    Cathy, I am so delighted you found this useful. And you are right in what you are saying – powering down and stepping back and giving ourselves some mental and physical time and space is really powerful.

  • Cathy Chester

    This is exactly what I need to do, Ali. My work life is connected through the Internet and I am with it more than my family and friends! I need a break, to step away and write down my goals (although I know most of them.) Going back to paper and pen, and quieting my mind, will be an wonderful relief. Thanks for the important reminder.

  • Katy Kozee

    One thing I’ve tried that is sort of similar is do a writing exercise like you describe to but to put at the top of the page something like “What do I need to know about this issue?” I’ll frequently start out feeling awkward and fake, but if I write long enough, I can eventually come to some sort of conclusion. I’ll usually type it out because I’m a good typist and it actually hurts my hands to write with a pen now, but I know a lot of people feel more connected if they take the time to physically write on paper. I use evernote to keep all my ramblings in one place and it’s often helpful to go back and read what I wrote and see how frequently I ended up being spot on.

  • Leanne@crestingthehill

    I’ve heard that handwriting uses a distinct part of the brain and if we use a computer all the time instead then this part of the brain doesn’t get exercised. Perhaps that’s the brain part connected with clear thinking?!

  • I read a research based article on that very same thing Leanne. It was fascinating. I am a big fan of paper and pen for all my planning, processing and scheduling.

  • Love that Katy. Taking time to ask ourselves questions is a very powerful way to get clarity, focus and meaningful answers.

  • Delighted you found it useful Cathy. I can relate to what you are saying about the internet – a lot of my work is done that way too. It helps to set strong boundaries and standards for ourselves to manage that.

  • This sounds like a wise strategy – getting back to the basics of pen and paper and really listening to your thoughts. Thank you for sharing – I feel inspired!

  • Delighted this inspired you Laurel.

  • I love putting things down on pen and paper. I do find that that lets creativity and ideas flow a bit better. These are great ideas which I need to implement – especially stepping away from the gadgets!

  • I find the same too Angela – really boosts creativity and idea generation. Have fun implementing these ideas, and stepping away from the gadgets!!!

  • This is awesome! I totally agree. I have intentionally made the weekends tech-free. A health challenge at the end of July forced me to take a serious look at how much I was over-working myself and not letting my brain rest. I also started a daily gratitude journal… with real pen and paper and I love it! Also getting back to writing real note cards and letters via snail mail.

  • Good for you creating such a strong boundary Patty. So important. Loving the real notes and letters thing – such a beautiful personal touch.