As the year draws quickly to a close, many of us are looking to tidy our homes and have them ready for the holidays. Even though this year may be a bit different; we may not be able to gather with friends and relatives as we are accustomed to, but we still want to have the house looking shiny and bright, if only to lift our own spirits. And getting there may mean cutting the clutter.
When we think of clutter we usually think of counters overflowing with knick knacks, appliances, mail, and everything else; closets stuffed with clothes, hats, shoes, and “stuff.” You get the picture. Chaos. We all need to declutter periodically, but right now I’m talking about the invisible clutter in your mind that hinders you from navigating through life in a smooth and effortless way.
Fear, self-doubt, procrastination, anger, resentment, self-pity, are some of the things that may clutter your mind.
To give you a headstart, imagine yourself with a large trash bag going from room to room removing everything that has become useless, redundant or even dangerous. What are some things you can get rid of? Let’s look at each one in turn:
- Useless. While we all need to keep in touch with friends, loved ones, and business acquaintances, spending too much time on the phone can clutter our life to the point that our day goes by before we even notice it. To remedy this, try setting aside time to catch up with your phone calls. Make use of your phone’s voicemail and auto reply feature so others will know you are not available. Once you stick to this practice, people will soon catch on. Of course, you will make exceptions for emergencies.
2. Repetitive. Doing the same things over and over, like spending time on social media, playing video games, checking emails, even housecleaning. Some of these may be necessary, but once overdone, they can lead to a serious depletion of your time. Make a list of the things that are necessary and those that are not. Then focus on those that are necessary.
3. Dangerous. Smoking, drinking, overeating. I label these as dangerous because, if taken to the extreme, they can seriously impair your health, judgement, and your capacity to function effectively on your job or in life in general. Overeating, especially the wrong type of foods, is dangerous for type 2 diabetics and those with heart disease and high cholesterol. Smoking is hazardous to your health, regardless of your health condition and drinking alcohol, if taken to excess, can negatively impact your health as well as your level of functioning. Getting rid of some of these habits may require some help. You may have to hire a coach or therapist, or elicit the help of friends and relatives.
You may no doubt be able to add some items to each of the categories above, but I hope by now your trash bag is full and your life is beginning to take on a more streamlined appearance. You may have to repeat the decluttering activities once a week, until you get in the habit of not letting them take over your life.
Do you feel the need to declutter your life? Fill in the form below and let me help you get started.
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