W/LB Tip #17: De-Cluttering Your Mind

Decluttering your mind is more important than cleaning your desk!


Hi all!    Over the past couple months, I've featured posts from Amanda Wiss, professional organizer and founder of the Brooklyn-based Urban Clarity, on de-cluttering your inbox and de-cluttering your office.   Last week, another local entrepreneur, Anne Baker, career coach, wrote to this list, in a take on continuing that theme, with tips for de-cluttering your mind.  (Anne's also hosted several events for PSP CAN.)  I loved her email and reached out to her to ask if she would be willing to contribute to our effort here at PSP CAN to help members move through the daily juggle with a little more ease and satisfaction.  Happily, she said she would, and so in subsequent weeks I'll be featuring posts from Anne as well.
For now, though, I'm just excerpting from her email last week the list of tips to reduce mental clutter.  In fact, I sort of wish I could just deliver to you one tip from this list each week for the next ten weeks, since each one is so worth the focus and emphasis.   Take your time with this list, please, and think about how you can incorporate each into your day-to-day.  "Work/life balance" is not about just cramming our lives with all we can possibly fit into it, after all--it's about achieving the peace of mind that will enable us to enjoy the process of living it.
Once again, then, here are the tips, pulled from www.ratracetrap.com (thanks, Anne!):
  • Meditate: There is probably no better way to clear the clutter from your mind than meditating.  Try more extended meditation once a day, but you can meditate for short periods of time in a quiet place at work if you need to. Try five minutes in a small conference room.
  • Breathe: So very simple and effective. You can do it almost anywhere or anytime. Focus on just a few deep breaths and let your nagging and busy thoughts float away.
  • Single-task: Aside from the productivity benefits, focusing on one thing at a time by definition clears your mind of everything else.
  • Write it down: Almost every productivity system ever invented recommends writing down the things in your head so you they don't keep popping into your mind.
  • Be Present: Experience the now and let go of all the endless mind chatter and negative thoughts.
  • Stop Worrying “All worry is unnecessary clutter."
  • Filter Your Inputs: Your brain is processing the inputs whether you realize it or not.  Put on headphones with soothing music or white noise (I like rain sounds). Go to a quiet room.  Stop checking email, Twitter, Facebook, feeds, etc.
  • Say No: Every time you add another task or commitment you add another piece of clutter to your mind.  Just say no.
  • Take a media break: Turn off the TV, don't surf the net for stories or news, and ignore newspapers and magazines. Once you get past the withdrawal symptoms, the resulting peace of mind is incredible.
  • Declutter your space removes visual clutter from your mind. Less clutter just makes you feel more peaceful.
PSP Work/Life Initiative