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How to get clarity in thoughts

Category: Productivity

Have you ever worried about things so much that thinking through them becomes tough? Have so many options that you keep going in circles? In times of most need, thinking stops being clear. Here’s the way to get clarity in thoughts:

1. Write in points. No stories, just points.
Writing in points forces the mind to break things down into smaller logical units. Dealing with smaller logical units make things simple to understand. Points avoid going in circles, it avoids repetitions. Moreover, sometimes in extreme emotional state we tend to magnify things; be it positively or negatively. Writing points down helps to put them in the right perspective.

2. Create a table to compare details of all options.
Whenever you have to choose between varied alternatives and are having difficulty, try this. Having all the pros and cons of the options on one page definately helps the mind to process faster. Moreover, it ensures that you are not leaving any detail out. You can then simply start the process of eliminating weakest obvious option and be sure about your decision since the reasons are available on the page itself.

3. Draw a diagram to chart out your flows.
Ever had so many scenarios to think of that you lose track of them and get confused? Chart out all your if-else logic on a piece of paper / writing board. Having all your flows available at a glance helps in increasing focus and being able to simultaeneously work on all of them. Visuals also make it easy to explain the thought process to someone else.

4. Focus on one thing at a time.
Agreed it’s easy to multitask. But slow down. Do one thing at a time. Take one idea at a time. Put all your focus and energy on it. And then when you are sure you are done, move to the next. Sometimes, it’s really as simple as that.

5. Bounce your ideas / thoughts at someone.
Having someone to talk to and dumping all thoughts on is great. It clears your mind. In order to explain a complex thought to someone, you have to simplify things for them. This itself, creates clarity for you. As an added bonus, if the person is good, you might also get valuable inputs.

6. Are you really confused?
Sometimes, it’s you who’s confusing yourself to avoid making decisions. Reasons could vary – you don’t want to take responsibility, you don’t believe you can make the right decision etc. Stop doing so.

This article featured in following carnivals:
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Carnival of Self Mastery

avani mehta

Reader's Comments

  1. Rena Williams | August 11th, 2008 at 5:18 am

    I’m enjoying reading through your site.
    Well done, I like the layout but the
    great and positive info is superb.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Rena Williams’s last blog post..The Vehicle To A Successful Retirement

    Reply to this comment
  2. Ankur | December 13th, 2009 at 6:06 am

    Hi Avani,

    I liked the to-the-point approach of explaining of how to go about this clarity process. In my case, the fuzziness comes up in daily-discussions let’s say some group has got together discussing on some topic where opinion is seeked or for that matter, class discussion is going on. How can the steps you mentioned be helpful when u have to quick n spontaneous lest you miss the train. Could you help me on this?

    And yeah, this feeling of not having clarity does infect me in other fields as well.. like not able to take decisions easily.. many a times ending up with stupid decisions!!

    Your expert advice will be highly appreciated 🙂


    Reply to this comment
  3. Raju | February 20th, 2010 at 12:42 am

    I appreciate the explaination on clarity of thought,I also want to know how we should work to improve clarity of thought, are there any tools that you can suggest.


    Reply to this comment
  4. Godfrey | July 12th, 2010 at 3:23 am

    I am facing issues with clarity of thought . Can you please explain with details. I am unable to reply properly and hve been rejected twice in an interview for which i am not getting promoted I need your advice how to improve onthis

    Reply to this comment
  5. Salim | December 21st, 2010 at 8:36 am


    would like to know on how to improve thought flow while speaking and how to get rid of habit of forgetting while speaking on a particular topci.

    For egs. I am a trainer and at the start of the session during the introduction round I foreget what to say and in what order do I say my credentials. Same is the case while narrating stories I tend to forget important parts and also the flow of the story is inappropriate.

    Is this because of lack of thought clarity or somethings else?

    Thanks for sharing valuable info; keep sharing.



    Reply to this comment
    • Avani Mehta | December 22nd, 2010 at 12:47 am


      Just throwing out ideas, see what’s applicable to you. Nervousness and rote memory create this kind of a problem. Check whether you are more focused on what to say next than on what’s happening right now. It’s difficult to pay attention to both at the same time. I think it’s perfectly all right to miss some points out if you are starting with introductions and all. Practice at home on your speech, try to keep pointers in mind on what you want to cover. The more comfortable you are with your speech content and speaking in front of others the easier it will be for you.

      Reply to this comment


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