Clear the Clutter

I find that when I’m mentally cluttered (frazzled, overwhelmed, disorganized), my environment (my car, office, home, even my wallet and desktop) often reflects the mess. I’ve wondered if it’s the chicken or the egg…does the mess in my space create the mental clutter or is it the other way around? I’m guessing a little bit of both. What I do know is that the physical clutter is something I can take care of and at times can be easier to take action on. As I find order in my physical world, my mental world calms too.

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As we create systems in our lives from paying bills to meal planning to avoid the after work stress of figuring out dinner, we can find more sustainable order. No one size fits all, but slowly, I’m finding my groove with what works for me. As my physical world is finding more order (thanks to coaching, trial-and-error, reading, podcasts, you name it!) I’m noticing that intentional mental strategies are finding a place in my daily life. It is and will continue to be a work in progress, but so far it is creating a much gentler start to my day so that I am able to show up at my best, grounded and clear for my patients, colleagues, family and friends.

So my challenge to you…

  1. Where is clutter showing up in your life? Mentally? Physically?

  2. Start by cleaning ONE area up.

    Is your computer desktop littered with files you will “get to tomorrow”? If so clear it. Create folders of urgency, importance or those to look at on a “rainy day”. Delete redundant files and empty the trash can. Create a system so that every file you save has a home, action step or its gone.

    Do you have a hard time remembering to do a list of home exercises from your Physio or Chiropractor so instead of doing some, you do none and then stress about not doing them? Pick one. Commit to doing one when you brush your teeth or set your alarm before going to bed. You will make more progress doing a little than none at all, and you will reduce some of the “shoulds” in the list of things you have to do in a day.

  3. As your physical world becomes less chaotic, how do you feel? How does it feel turning on your computer and having a clear screen, or a concise folder of things that require your attention rather than splitting it/ distracting it among noise? How does it feel getting into a car that smells good and is clean? How does it feel knowing where that favourite shirt is when you get that unexpected invite out for drinks?

  4. Once your physical spaces are in order (or before, if it feels right) take a minimum of 5 minutes a day to declutter your mind. Focus on breath, stare at the clouds, centre yourself in gratitude or a greater intention for the day.

“Out of clutter, find simplicity.”
Albert Einstein