Just like our cabinets and cupboards, our minds too need tidying up from time to time, especially at the beginning of a New Year when we all hope to start a new phase on the right foot.
I guess I’m not the only one in need of decluttering mine of its endless to-do lists, negative thoughts, resentments, distractions, worries and situations I can’t control. Researchers estimate we have about 60,000 thoughts each day. Many of them involve thinking the same things over and over again such as “I never have enough time“, “I have nothing to wear“, “My house isn’t clean enough“, or “My life would be better if I had more money“. And that can lead to countless hours tossing and turning at night with no real sleep, wasting our time and mental energy preventing us from creating clear priorities, making decisions, having focus, and being productive.
Unfortunately, clearing our mental clutter isn’t as simple as eliminating a possession. We can’t “throw away” a thought and expect it to stay gone and although at midlife we are supposed to be experienced enough to be able to let go of all that non-essential mental baggage, sometimes I admit it’s still hard to recognise what slows us down. We’re focused on raising kids, keeping our home clean and organized, succeeding at our job, looking after our pets, making time for our partner and parents, as well as exercising. No wonder we all need a break from all the mental clutter.
In this case, some of us might find help and clarity by keeping a bullet journal or practising meditation, others like me who already spend a lot of time at writing and planning, simply prefer detoxifying themselves from multitasking when in need of becoming more focussed upon how to spend their time and energy.
According to the author and alternative medicine advocate Deepak Chopra, “Humans are not multitaskers by nature. Multitasking may seem efficient on the surface, but studies have shown that multitasking actually reduces productivity and fills your mind with too much activity. Instead, go down your list of priorities and focus on one task at a time to avoid mental overload. To avoid getting lost in time, you can set a timer for how long you want to spend on any given task, to ensure you manage your time well“.
Simplifying our life and breaking free from the busyness trap, might be the way forward. Whatever new year resolution you might have planned for 2022, I wish you will be able to make time and space for what really matters and be able to build in a sacred space for yourself only. Rather than trying to “fit in” your life priorities around your busy schedule, create space for your priorities first.