Make Space in your Life for What Matters

Clearing the clutter inside your head

By Angie Comer

From toxic relationships and painful memories, to indecision and an overflowing inbox — clutter comes in all different shapes and sizes (literally). It can be defined as anything we need, use or love, up to and including tangible items, past memories and even people. You can often find the word “clutter” closely followed by words like disorder, collection, jumble and confusion. In the instance of clutter, not only does it emit negative vibes, it also holds a negative impact on your overall well-being.

Clutter can be both a literal and figurative hindrance on or in your life. Research shows that it can impact your productivity, happiness, state-of-mind, motivation and relationships. The tipping point of control vs. clutter comes when things cease to be useful, needed or beneficial to your individual growth and happiness.

Clutter is objective and different for everyone. You are the only one who can decide what is important in your life, so it is inevitable that you are also the one in control of the clutter. If you find yourself consistently using words like “stressed” or “drowning,” are often late and feeling rushed because you are searching for something, or even walk into your home and feel anxious instead of relaxed — it is time to declutter. To help you do this and regain your serenity and focus, check out my Top 5 Critical De-clutter Tips:

Get Physical — Physical clutter leads to mental clutter and it energetically blocks the flow of abundance into our lives. A study conducted at Princeton University found that physical clutter can compete with your attention, in turn leading to decreased focus and performance, and increased stress. Clutter bombards the mind with excessive stimuli, signaling that there is always something that needs to be done. This mentally exhausting process forces your brain to work overtime. Take five minutes to tidy up — you will be surprised how decluttering your physical space, will help declutter your mind and mood.

Write It Down — You have a lot going on in your daily life, so why not write it down? Give your brain a break! You can use anything from an app on your phone to a pad of paper you take with you, but get into the habit of writing things down. It is quite liberating to actually be able to check things off a list and see your accomplishments in real-time, give it a try!

Multi-Task = Chaos — Let’s be honest, when we’re “multi-tasking,” we are not really doing ourselves any favors. In fact, studies show multitasking actually decreases your productivity by as much as 40 percent. Your brain is incapable of simultaneously processing separate streams of information. Instead, what is actually taking place is the “switching” of one task to another. In other words, there is no “multi” anything going on. Set deadlines, agendas and time aside for tasks rather than trying rush through everything all at once.

“Let it Go!” — Not only was the hit song from Disney’s “Frozen,” catchy — but wow, was she really onto something! A lot of us carry around a filling cabinet’s worth of mental files and sticky-notes. Take the appropriate time to go through these archives and let go of the memories of the past that are not serving you in the present. Remember, it is how you cope and make it through your challenges and struggles that defines you, not always the moments themselves.

Control The Digital Clutter — Facebook notifications, email pop-ups, text messages, blogs and anything that might go “ping” in the night, compete for your attention. We live in an overstimulating world enough as it is, and all of these extra additions create a digital form of clutter that wears on your ability to focus and perform tasks. Try adjusting a few of the frequency notification settings on some of these channels and prioritizing which ones are truly important in your day to day life. The goal here is to keep only what is relevant and helpful to you.

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