In a world caught in the hustle and bustle of “I have to do this NOW,” it’s so easy to let clutter accumulate everywhere in our lives. I’m not just talking about your laundry, the dishes, coffee cups in your car console… I’m talking about digital clutter. Mental clutter.
How long do you spend deleting emails? Wouldn’t it be so much better if you just hit unsubscribe? What sort of posts do you see on your Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat/(TikTok???) feed that you wish weren’t there? Why don’t we unfollow them? It’s hard. That’s why.
Nobody realizes it — a follow here, a like there — how quickly we can add to our mental clutter. “Oh, I get a [coupon, special offer, ebook, download] if I sign up for this mailing list!” Easy as pie. But then they just keep sending you stuff. I have emails in my inbox that sometimes, I have no idea how they got there.
The advertisements, junk mail, YouTube links, business cards. I’m tired of it! Because the good stuff, the really good stuff that I actually want to see/hear/read gets lost in the pile of crap and marketing. My mind gets so jumbled up that I’m not sure what I even want in my inbox. So how do we stop this? I made another list thing.
- Unfollow, Unfriend: You don’t have to do this all at once. In fact, I don’t recommend you spend hours scrolling through your subscriptions, followings, lists… Simply try this. When you see something you don’t like, get it out of your sight. Make it so that you don’t come across it again.
- Decide What You Want: What inspires you? What is your brand? What do you agree with? What challenges you? Answering these questions are so important because they’re the deciding factor in what media you’re taking in.
- Find Stuff You Like: After you consider number 2, you can go out and carefully seek the information and media you want to absorb. This is when you find content that’s good for you. The amazing part is, you can curate your emails! You can choose how your Instagram feed looks! You just have to do so thoughtfully.
- Take a Break: Seriously. Put down the electronics, the magazines, the junk mail. Step away from it for a while.
- Let It Out: Our brains can harbor all sorts of thoughts, gathered from the mass jumble of jargon spewed at us 24/7. Make a big list of what’s in your brain. On one page, write down everything you’re thinking of. Examine the list. Is any of this useful? Circle it and figure out what to do with those thoughts. The rest? Cross it off.
Of course, nothing is ever as simple as getting rid of it for good. You will likely need to make this a habit every six months, or every week, depending on how popular you are. 😉