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I hate clutter.
Granted, anyone who sees the state of my house sometimes might disagree.
But I swear…I hate clutter.
My problem: My mental clutter creeps into my physical space. Cluttered mind, cluttered life. So many times…my space is cluttered, because it’s my mind vomiting all around me. Cute, amiright? 😉
Whenever I get anxious + feel sorta spazzy, it’s usually about work, and it’s usually because I feel ten feet in over my head. Not in terms of task difficulty, per say, but in terms of sheer quantity. There is one of me and so much to do and so little time, yadda yadda yadda. That’s been especially the trend lately. If I’m not careful + intentional, I end up spiraling into a blur of clutter, anxiety, + unproductivity. From the inboxxxxx to the tabs, to the tabs, ’til the sweat drops down my – you get the point. I hop from one thing to the next, getting increasingly frantic in not getting the biggies done, but stuck in my own mind to just do ALL THE THINGS. Whenever I feel myself getting worked up, it’s usually because I’ve got approximately 62 tabs open (not even kidding) and I’m hopping back-and-forth between things. Right now I have 28 tabs open in one window, and 204 open in a Chrome extension that “organizes” them. TWO HUNDRED AND FOUR. Tell me who in their right mind needs 204 tabs open?!?! Apparently this girl. But no really…hello my name is Erica and I have a tab problem. HA.
It’s exhausting, yo. It’s not just your tasks + to-do’s, but your worries, fears, general thoughts – not all bad, at all! Just all of them, all at once. And when your mind gets cluttered like that, it becomes so hard to focus on ANYTHING, let alone what’s important to focus on at that given moment.
SO Imma keep today focused on ways to declutter your mind – decluttering your physical space/life/any other thing to declutter is a whole ‘notha thing in + of itself. So if ya wanna talk about any of that, too, (which we TOTALLY can + should!), let me know in a comment below. 🙂
ALSO, just sharing a super cute fall outfit, especially \now since it’s STILL wavering temperature-wise…
UGH MOTHER NATURE. Please get our sh*t together.
ALL OF US
This kimono is ABSURDLY cute, way practical for right about now, + less than $15. These jeans are one of my *favorite* pairs that I snagged during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and am so glad I did, and these booties…welp, you know allllll about ’em. 😉 Let’s declutter your mind!
Kimono (c/o) // Top (Sold out – similar tee by same brand here, that’s currently 40% off! SUPER soft, squishy fabric) // Jeans (SO insanely comfortable + flattering. Worth the higher price point, 100%!) // Booties (I could talk about these allllllll fall long. So I think I will. 😉 The BOMBDOTCOM in booty department. Insanely comfortable, walkable + wearable all day long, available in 3 colors, and currently 20% off. AND NO LONGER BACKORDERED, praise the Living God! #AddToCart) // Tassel earrings (sold out from Charming Charlie, near identical pair here, other similar + fun pair here) // Two-tone Kate Spade watch (My fave cos it goes with EVERYTHING!) // Swarovski cuff bracelet
Stop everything + breathe.
I realized once that I wasn’t aware of how peaceful + calm-inducing it felt to intentionally breathe because I didn’t intentionally breathe. I just flew through my day on hyperspeed autopilot, and intentional breathing was like a stopgate to my productivity. L-O-friggin’-L, E. First thing’s first on the road to declutter your mind : STOP. BREATHE. Rinse + repeat. My own cluttered mind (+ inevitable cluttered life) often results from just doing #AllTheThings #AllAtOnce, which leads to feeling out of control. Which, in turn, creates clutter, because our minds + bodies don’t know how to react and it becomes a spaz-house up in there. (No bueno).
Right then + there. Today, consumption itself is cluttered. There’s just so dang much to consume 24/7. We’re a consumptive society. And if we’re not careful, we can just sit on a couch all day long consuming. Hellllooooo, overwhelm! We can’t even control the consumption, let alone step away to create ourselves. Put a kibosh on the consumerism that we live in constantly, just for now so that you have some space to declutter your mind before beginning again.
Shut it down. Power down. Log out of technology. Put the phone in your bag, keep the laptop in the other room, avoid the iPad at all costs. Technology today leads to endless consumption. So if we’re stopping consuming for now, it’s time to log out.
Get out of the house.
It always always always helps me recenter my life if I rearrange my surroundings. Since I work from home and am pretty much home a whole heckuvah lotta the time, it reaaaaally helps me recenter + mentally declutter if I step away from the clutter for a hot sec. I run to grab a coffee, fill up my gas tank, pick up a few groceries – heck, even to the mall food court for a smoothie and quick “workout” (cos speedwalking through the mall with arms full of heavy bags is 100% exercise, y’all 😉 ).
Dump allllllllll that clutter in yo’ head out on paper. PHEW. ‘Tis a lot. I prefer writing it all out, that way it’s all out there, on paper, in front of your face RIGHT THERE. It might be totally overwhelming to look at, but the point is to be able to take all of that and decipher it, organize it, and declutter your mind by rearranging it to make sense for you right now. Oftentimes, when we feel totally overwhelmed + cluttered upstairs, it’s cos we’ve got waaaaaaay too much goin’ on at once. Brain dumping it all out gives us the chance to separate the to-do-now’s from the to-do-later’s. Write down EVERYTHING in yo’ head (we’re talking EVERYTHING, in no organized fashion) on the same sheet. And that’s it. Carry on to the next tasks below…
Get a sweat sesh in.
THOSE ENDORPHINS THO. Personally, I lovelovelove CorePower Yoga (here’s a peek at my current fitness routine!). It gives me an hour+ of solid me-time away from my laptop to just unwind. It’s time outta the house (woo!), it’s time logged off (woo!), AND it’s time to stop everything, breathe, + focus on my mind + body and that’s it. I swear magic happens when I do that. I should do that more often. HA.
Switch tasks (but not repeatedly).
A cluttered mind often comes from doing too many things at once. Ah, multitasking. We all swear we’re good at it, but science swears we’re actually not. Hello I am a woman and I’m so good at multitasking! said every woman ever. I’m right there with ya in this generalization. Buuuuuuut this thing called context switching happens every time we switch from one task to the next. If you imagine our capability to work + focus as one big bubble, every time we switch to another task, the bubble shrinks in size. Or, alternatively, the bubble starts breaking up into smaller bubbles. Eventually, we’re either left with a buncha baby bubbles with little to no capability left to work + focus effectively…or our bubbles pop. Either way, no bueno. Context switching means we have increasingly LESS ability to stay focused + productive at the task at hand. Simply because it takes MORE time + energy + work to actually switch from one mindset/frame of working to the next. So, to declutter your mind effectively, avoid switching or multi-tasking repeatedly. Instead, switch tasks ONCE. When you feel all spazzed + cluttered, do the above…then come back and just switch to one thing else that needs doing. Preferable something outside the realm of what you were doing before that feeling of ACK I AM CLUTTERED came about. So, if you were at your desk typing when the clutter of if all hit you in the face…do the above, then come back and get the dishes done. It’s another task that needs to be done, but it’s different enough that you’ll have that stepping-back-and-breathing feeling instead of that I just can’t keep up with it all feeling that would likely arise from switching to another desk tasks in that given moment. Capiche? Capiche.
Messy life, messy mind. Personally, my own cluttered mind manifests itself by subconsciously cluttering the space around me. Trippy amiright?? But it seriously is true. Anyone stepping into my house and seeing clutter should immediately ask me what’s going on in my head, cos it’s like a mirror image. To declutter your mind, it helps to declutter the space around you. Now that you’ve given yourself some breathing space between the bulk of your to-do’s (the cluttering nemesis at hand) + stepped away to some other task for a hot sec, come back and just tidy up a bit. Before trying to get back on track with business as usual, just do a quick analysis of the space around you. Does it help or hinder your productivity? Does it make you feel MORE cluttered mentally, or less? Set a timer for 15 minutes. Clean. Declutter. Not necessarily your WHOLE space (cos holy moly, that might be even more overwhelming). But for the time being, handle the space around you, where you work + where you are the most. Maybe that’s your office, maybe that’s just your deskspace…declutter accordingly.
Do one creative thing you lovelovelove.
Personally, this *always* helps. Not necessarily in the “declutter your mind” phase (we’ve already done that, up above!), but in “getting back on track to your best self ASAP” phase. Once you feel more at peace cos you’ve done all of the above, treat yo’self to ONE thing that’s creatively invigorating for ya. Write just for fun. Color. Hang out on Pinterest for a hot sec. Do something that makes your creative juices swim + leaves you feel inspired instead of in over your head.
Go back to le brain dump.
Remember how we said to STOP at just simply writing everything down that’s in your head up above in step 5, the brain dump? Now it’s time to make sense of it. Get it all organized. Make heads + tails. (Would y’all like to see a whole post on brain dumping + how I do it + what works for me versus doesn’t, etc??? Sounds off below!) You should be feeling a whole heckuvah lot more at peace now that you’ve done all of the above, so you’re probably ready to get back to making it happen.
How do you declutter your mind when you’re feeling anxious/overwhelmed/etc?
Do you have a system/set of steps that works well for YOU? I’d lovelovelove it if you’d share it below!
P.S. RELEVANT: Here are 7 mistakes I made in my first year of owning a business. Spoiler alert: doing too much at once = 1. HA.
P.P.S. Don’t forget to enter to win $725 to Nordstrom! HOLLAH.
Happy hump – hope y’all are having a bombdotcom week.