This is Julianna, a contributor for Simple Acres visiting again to share yet another way to simplify and declutter your life. This time I am sharing the 4 areas of your life to focus on as a way to declutter your mind. We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded by noise. Our brains are overstimulated and we rarely get to enjoy solitude and quiet. Clutter is not only something that exists in our homes and our schedules, but also in our minds.
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A year ago, I went on a silent retreat. At the time it didn’t occur to me how uncommon an occurrence it is to sit in silence. Our phones, our televisions, our neighborhoods, and our kids are all noisy. We are constantly hearing commercials, media messaging, not to mention all of our own thoughts that are constantly running through our heads. If you are feeling overwhelmed and mentally exhausted, there are ways to declutter your mind. Here are some areas in your life to consider:
  • technology use
  • negative messages
  • positive messages
  • lists
 

Technology use

In this day and age it is nearly impossible to avoid technology (unless you become Amish and move to Ohio…even then I bet it still indirectly impacts you somehow). With all of the benefits and opportunities, the advances in technology has given us, it’s also given us a new set of challenges and obstacles to overcome. How many windows do you currently have open on your phone or computer? We navigate from one program or window to the next back and forth trying to take in information from various sources simultaneously. Videos pop up as we scroll so we bounce back and forth between reading and watching. It’s a lot to absorb! To limit your distractions:
  • turn off notifications
  • delete problematic apps
  • track your time and block apps
  • create boundaries

Turn off notifications

Our phones have become a distraction and the constant notifications create an ongoing sense of urgency. It’s hard not to feel like we need to respond right away to emails or messages that come in even when they may not be that important. We are mentally creating a mounting to-do list as we hear every text, email, or message that comes our way. We see our nanosecond response as a sign of responsibility, but it may come at the expense of the people who are right in front of us. Limit your distractions by turning off as many notifications as possible.

Delete problematic apps

Addicted to Candy Crush? Or do you find yourself spending way too much time on unnecessary apps on your phone? Delete them and see what happens. In most cases you aren’t likely to miss it and you’ll be glad for the additional time you get back in your schedule.

Track your time and block apps

If social media addiction has become a problem for you, there are strategies you can use to overcome it. Creating awareness of the issue is the first step. Certain types of phones automatically track your app usage and time spent on your phone, but if not there are apps you can download that will do that for you. Some focus apps allow you to set limits on how long you can use your phone or certain apps per day.

Boundaries

Have designated times during the day that you declare technology free. Keep phones away from the table so that mealtime can be focused on having conversations without distraction. Try having technology free days and/or times during the day. Get everyone in the family on board to create healthy habits and promote interaction. It’s so important that we model boundaries for our kids.

Negative messages

How many people are you friends with and who are you following? Is your friends list cluttered? Are you wasting your time reading random thoughts of people you don’t know or like? There is so much negativity on the internet. People have passionate opinions on topics we may or may not care about (or agree with). If you are frustrated, annoyed, or angry every time you read posts from a particular person then why are you keeping that in your news feed? What is the benefit to you? If the answer is none, either unfriend or unfollow. Life is too short to fill our minds with such negativity. If you follow people who make you feel bad about yourself, get that out of your feed too. That’s not helping anyone. Be aware of the messages you allow to go into your mind. That includes what you watch, listen to, and read. If those sources aren’t helping you be a better person or live a better life, what purpose are they serving?

Positive messages

Once you’ve decluttered the negative messages in your life, you’ve now created space for more positive messaging. Follow people who inspire you. People who are positive and who make you want to do and be better. Find supportive communities. If you are on a mission to simplify your life, find groups who will encourage you. It’s so beneficial to have like-minded people around you throughout your journey. You can join The Simplicity Habit community by signing up for updates on the site and that way you never miss a post and get more tips on living simply. You can also sign up for Stefanie’s Simple Acres Blog email newsletter for her tips and tricks for the simple life.

Make lists

After dealing with technology and messaging, there is another area where mental clutter tends to catch up with us. It is our ever running to do lists, not quite done lists, project lists, ‘don’t forget this’ lists, meal plans and grocery lists, and where am I supposed to be today anyway? Our brains work overtime trying to retain all of this information and inevitably things slip through the cracks. To declutter your mind, make lists and plan ahead. Taking the time to organize your thoughts, lists, and tasks will help you run your life more efficiently and intentionally. I created a resource called the Simply Scheduled Workbook to help you simply and effectively plan your day and your life. You can read more about it HERE. The best part is that for a limited time you can get it along with 45 other resources (ebooks, e-courses, planners and printables) for productivity, time and home management, and goal setting for the low price of only $37 (that is less than the price of one designer planner!). You can check out more details of what is in the Ultimate Productivity Bundle through my affiliate link HERE. You can also check out my review of the bundle. Here’s to living a mentally decluttered life with intention and margin! If you like this article you may also find this article on simplifying your schedule helpful:
Simple Ways to Declutter Your Schedule
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