Guest post: How to clear mental clutter - by Kate Ibbotson, Professional Organiser at 'A Tidy Mind'
You can do anything but you can't do everything - David Allen. Do you ever feel overwhelmed? I do. We live in a society where there is an abundance of choice. From the type of bowl from which you eat your breakfast, to the pillow you sleep on at night.
Advertisements constantly tempt and lure us with the promise of a better quality of life. You most likely have the internet at your fingertips and can search for more choice within seconds. Even if you don’t find the new “must have” product, it will likely find YOU due to clever targeting. There are more ways to fill leisure time than ever before - thanks to social media, everyone is bombarded with images of what others are doing and where they are going. And those who have children have to absorb their inflating schedules into their own.
The common question “what do you do to relax?” always makes me smile. It’s expected that everyone should have to be doing something all the time.
As a Declutterer & Organiser, I help people transform their homes on a practical level. But since I am also a Life Coach, addressing what is cluttering up their minds is even more important.
To develop and grow, of course we need to be open to new activities and concepts. But it’s SO important to be selective. If not, you run the risk of zapping your productivity and damaging your mental health. A life dominated by practical tasks, social engagements and hobbies but zero time to catch a breath is not going to bring calm and content.
So here are my top tips for clearing mental clutter:
RE-EVALUATE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Don’t waste your time with people who aren’t good for you. Don’t be afraid to cut ties if you feel that the relationship is toxic. Your time is precious, make sure to spend it with those worthy of it - not those who are not.
How many of those newsletter emails do you actually read? Take an extra couple of seconds to unsubscribe as you see them come in and your inbox will be much neater.
MAKE A DECISION
In my industry, we say that clutter is often a result of decision delay. It can be hard to decide what to do about an issue and easier to 'put it on the backburner'. Push through that challenge - make a decision - ANY decision and stop it hanging around cluttering up your brain.
ONLY HANDLE IT ONCE
Otherwise known as the ‘OHIO’ rule, this is great way to make sure you keep on top of post and paperwork. If you can deal with it then and there, do it. If not, place it in a dedicated area and schedule a time to look at it later.
CREATE A MORNING ROUTINE
This can be life changing. If you find yourself rushing out the door every morning in a hurry, getting an early start can give you more time to do things like writing down your to-do list, preparing lunch, meditating, exercising and having time alone.
RE-EVALUATE YOUR COMMITMENTS
Out of all your responsibilities and hobbies, which ones are of most importance to you? Home life, social life, work, side hustle, family, any pastime activities - if there’s something that you don’t love doing or it doesn’t give you value, give it up - if you can. Lose the FOMO (fear of missing out) whilst you're at it - you are NOT missing out!
It’s stressful and most of the time you’re not as productive as you would be if you were to focus on a single task. Instead, block out all distractions like social media notifications and use an app like Tide, where you can set a timer to knock out one task after another.
The ultimate rewards for clearing mental clutter are being more present in your life, more creative and better able to enjoy the little things. In my work I see so many people (women in particular) chasing perfection, comparing themselves to others and feeling guilty when they don't feel they measure up. Accept the need for less quantity and more quality and free up some headspace so you can figure out what really makes YOU happy.
Written by Kate Ibbotson - Professional Organiser - A Tidy Mind
ABOUT FRAN GRANT
Wife to a very lucky husband. Mum to 3 beautiful little boys. Gym, yoga and self care enthusiast. Lover of food, coffee, wine and gin. Self confessed bookworm and book hoarder. Advocate for keeping the magic of reading alive for today’s children. And last but not least - Writer (currently trying my hand at kids fiction and rhyming stories). Thanks for visiting my site - expect to see posts mainly related to reading and writing, with occasional musings about family, parenting and life in general. Oh, and plenty of book reviews! Hope you enjoy! Much love, Fran x