Clearing Our Mental Clutter

What’s taking up unnecessary space in your mind?

We live and work lives that require a lot of our minds. Every day we are exposed to and process more information than every generation before us. If we’re not careful, we can overwhelm ourselves quickly.

Pressed Into Service

I’m writing this at a desk in my bedroom that serves not only as a workspace during the week, but also a catch-all for pretty much anything that I can’t be bothered to put away in the moment. My desk sometimes gets cluttered by the end of the week and it slowly but surely starts to affect my ability to focus.

And, as one does, after a while I clear it out. I put things away and make space so that I can start fresh.

It wasn’t always this way, of course. Before the pandemic, my desk was used rarely as a workspace. The last two years it has been pressed into service, well, to do just what it was designed to do. In that same timeframe, I adopted a series of personal habits to help clear my head.

I embraced walking, writing, reading, photography, baking/cooking, and other hobbies like never before. And although it hasn’t always been easy to be consistent, when I have been, I’ve found myself able to better understand and respond to what has been an incredibly stressful time. Pressed into service, I’ve worked hard to put myself in a position to allow my mind to do exactly what it was designed to do.

But let’s not pretend that I’m a perfect example of healthy habits and approaches. Far from it. Much like my desk, there are times when I let things accumulate, and over the course of a few days and weeks of benign neglect, I find myself paying less attention to what I value most.

Then I pause, get back on track, and the cycle starts over again.

Life By Design

Ideally, we would never get to a place where need to stop and make space for the things that matter to us. In a more perfect world, it would be easy to create habits that put us in a position to reset in small ways every single day.

So the question then is not about what we can do to overcome everything all at once, rather, it’s what we can do day-to-day and moment to moment to “keep the desk clean”. When thinking about our purpose, our values, and our intentions, what belongs and what doesn’t?

What can you do to clear just enough space so that you can do more of what you were designed to do?  

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