For your 15-minute task, sit and do nothing. Don’t read, don’t write notes to yourself, don’t scroll social media or look at email. Look out the window. Hold a mug of hot tea or a glass of water if you need something to anchor you.
If you want to meditate; focus on your breath. If you want, keep your eyes open and notice what thoughts run through your mind.
Remember, clutter isn’t just stuff but also actions and thoughts – create some time for yourself.
You can’t believe it. That person at work did that thing. Again. You need to vent and so you go in search of another person who will be right there with you agreeing about that person’s horrible, inconsiderate behavior.
I know, it’s more difficult to speak up and point out to the offender (nicely) the effect their behavior has on you. “Janice, when you don’t get you stuff to me by the deadline, I can’t finish the newsletter on time and it goes out late instead of on Tuesday, as our subscribers expect.”
If your complaint isn’t based on someone handling a task in a different way than you’d do it, then you can decide if it is worth the effort to ask the other person to change their behavior. The next time a complaint sits on your tongue, instead of venting to a friend or coworker, tell them that you’d like some ideas for ways to solve the complaint.
Do you deal with the same thoughts coursing through your mind day and night? One technique to declutter your mind, is to do a ‘brain dump’ which involves making a list of everything you are thinking.
Chances are, a lot of these thoughts are connected to tasks that you want to get done. Of course, listing these thoughts won’t get them done, but it may stop them clamoring for attention. And, wait, before you think that this doesn’t sound very efficient because you don’t want to forget what you have to do; remember – you just wrote it down.
You can review this list, add to it, cross things off, and so on. A brain dump isn’t meant to be a to-do list. However, when you are planning your time, it gives you a reference as to what you could do.
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm Susan, a writer and teacher developing a second career as a Decluttering Coach.