5-Steps to Remove Mental Clutter
So many of us are distracted by the mindless clutter of things (TV, phone, social media) and our thoughts. How many hours are you sitting in front of your TV, on your phone, when you could be doing something else? Our world is consumed with a constant feed of information, entertainment, and noise and so many of us don't realize how distracted we are by this. As a result, we are limiting our ability to focus, create, and accomplish our goals. To live a life free of clutter, consider implementing these five steps:
Access the Clutter
Physical clutter is easy to access, a messy desk or disorganized closet can be cleaned up and organized, but what about mind clutter? Mind clutter is difficult to identify because we get distracted by thoughts of distractions. I've found that meditation helps, but if that's not your thing, try sitting in silence for a few minutes to identify your thoughts. As each thought pops into your head and distracts you from centering, pause and write it down, continue to do this until you're able to sit with a clear mind.
Social media is also a major key to removing clutter. First off, turn off your notifications. Every time a notification pops up on your phone, you'll be inclined to stop what you're doing and check it. I've put myself on a social media schedule; no social media before 8:00 AM and none after 11:00 PM, and none while I'm spending time with loved ones or working.
Once you've identified the clutter you want to get rid of; sort it into categories. The categories can be: I can let it go right now, I can do research to get rid of it, I can change my attitude towards it, or I can get therapy to deal with the situation.
Plan Your Attack
Treat this how you would treat any goal or project you're working on. While you're working through the categories, create a to-do list of the next steps you need to take to either completely remove the clutter or reduce it.
Establish a Routine and Prepare
I'm big on routines because it creates consistency. I wake up and go-to-bed at the same time every day and because of that routine, I'm able to prepare myself for the next morning. I make my lunch, prepare my clothing and bag for the next day the night before, this allows me to focus on my morning prayer rituals in the morning without being distracted by the thoughts of getting those things ready. Also, I prepare my work for the next day. Because I schedule my week, (work, gym, downtime) I'm able to setup my workstation so that when I'm ready to begin working, I don't have to look for anything.
Doing this can appear boring and monotonous, but allowing yourself to have consistency and be prepared will remove many of the distractions you face when moving through the day.
Mental clutter is hard to avoid, we all deal with it and work on it differently. A lot of it can be prevented if we pay attention and look for the physical clues. If our outer life is hectic, chances are the same is happening internally. Creating a list as mentioned above or a journal will help in identifying the mental clutter and will allow you to avoid it in the future.
I will leave you with my mother's favorite prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Continue to Live Your Life in Style and always Be Inspired.