Taking the time to pause and reflect is the modern world heroism. It’s very easy to fall victim to the productivity cult. That’s why decluttering your mind is an essential skill to live a more intentional and fulfilling life.
You can have beautifully crafted to-do lists, but how connected are you to what is there? Do you have clarity about your intention? Do you know why you’re doing what you’re doing?
We live in a world of distraction; we’ve lost the art of focus, we often consume before we produce.
There is tremendous social pressure to be always productive, to hustle all the time. That, paired with many choices, opportunities, and decisions we need to make every day, is simply overwhelming for most of us. And if we feel overwhelmed, we disconnect.
Luckily, more and more people are looking to reconnect with themselves, with the world around them, to live a meaningful, deliberate life.
So, if you’re looking for a more authentic lifestyle that supports different needs and is about learning how to balance the having, doing, and feeling – read on.
Houston, we have a problem.
Living a productive life is fantastic, but productivity is only useful if it’s mindful and purposeful.
Raise your hand if you feel like we’re largely disconnected from the real world and live in a world of the simulacrum (because what we get to see around is not an accurate representation of the world).
We’ve lost focus and clarity of mind, our brains do not catch up with the technology around us created to hook us, and it’s becoming increasingly harder to fight the sensory overload.
Many of us behave like hungry crack addicts without the constant stream of stimuli; there is no clear beginning or end when scrolling your life away.
THE SOLUTION IS WITHIN YOUR REACH.
The solution to this problem is within your reach. It’s very, very close. So close, you may not even notice it. It’s in you, and it is you.
RECONNECT WITH YOURSELF
Try to quieten the chatter that surrounds you and listen to what you think about something, what is your take on things, before you get influenced by others.
I call it getting back to senses; reconnecting with your true inner self; it’s about recognizing the need to stop, reflect and improve or appreciate.
If you imagine that life, as it happens, is a winding and tumultuous river, reconnecting with yourself means stepping out of its currents regularly, sitting on the riverbank, and trying to see, where it is that the river is taking you. Is it where you want to go?
DECLUTTERING YOUR MIND
These days, many households are brimming with stuff, most of which no one needs. But our minds are no better.
To do that, I suggest going old school and analog. The good news is, you probably have everything it takes to try it now.
All you need is a little time, a quiet place, and a good old pen and paper.
Going analog helps, as it slows us down and makes things just a bit more deliberate.
My way of organizing thoughts consists of a bullet journal to catch my thoughts and organize my actions.
Then long-form journaling to expand ideas or as a stream of consciousness and a way to explore my curiosity.
This combination is perfect for finding focus, taking stock of things, and simply decluttering my mind. It’s the mindful way of staying productive.
The combination of daily journaling and meditation is a powerful way to reconnect with yourself and gain clarity in life.
To act more deliberately in life, imagine making choices in life as cooking metaphor:
- decide what is it that you want before you take a walk in the idea supermarket – it’s easy to get lured into things you never even wanted in the first place. Make your mental shopping list: first things first, know what it is you want to cook and get the ingredients for it.
DOES THIS FEED ME?
And while we’re on the cooking/meal prep methaphor, ask yourself regularly: does what I do feed me?
What do I mean by “FEED ME”? Well, it can FEED you if it’s essential to maintaining your business, work, bring you some income, or help you advance in your career, and it’s non-negotiable.
Not everything on our daily to-do lists will spark joy, but some things literally FEED US, and reconnecting with that idea usually helps ease our procrastination.
You may still not be overly excited about it, but at least you know why it’s there and that it is, in fact, necessary to do.
The second meaning of FEED ME is whether something you have as a to-do feeds you more spiritually.
Does it help you grow? Is it a healthy way of maintaining relationships with people who FEED YOU?
If you’re procrastinating about something, maybe it’s time to ask yourself: why is it even here? WHY do I want to do it? Does it FEED me?
I suggest removing everything that doesn’t feed you.
Does this bring you joy? Make you a better person? Makes your life better? Do you grow thanks to that, or is this just a distraction?
- being more intentional about what’s on your list
- if you keep shoving a task from one day to another, keep procrastinating on something if the things you have on your list are just not getting done, ask yourself if they should be there in the first place
- sometimes we procrastinate on things that shouldn’t even be on our list in the first place
If you get into your days merely reacting to what life brings, you’ll have a much harder time achieving what you initially wanted (that’s why knowing what you want is so important).
It’s crucial to set your intentions for different periods: your lifetime, the year/week/day. What is it that you want? Intentions precede any goal setting or any other doing.
Stop and think: how do I want my day/days to look like, and what can I do to get there?
Don’t let others decide for you. Of course, life happens, and we get sidetracked, distracted, our time and energy get hijacked, but at least know what it is you want to go back to once the madness is over.
Be intentional about what you bring to your life. You cannot make more time, but you can purge the things that distract you, that doesn’t improve your life.
Try being a little more intentional about what you do daily, who you talk to and what you say, what you buy and why, what you eat, and what you think.
It’s about creating a feeling of self-respect. Think about your time, space, body, and mind as a sanctuary. What do you want more of, and what do you want less of in your life?
Try being a little more intentional about how you spend your days.
Instead of starting your day with a to-do list, start with a question: how do I want to feel today?
Do you want to feel less overwhelmed, calmer, organized, energized, intentional?
In today’s world, we’re continually being told that something needs to serve our purpose and productivity.
We exercise because that’s what people do, that’s what you need to do to have more energy and be more productive for longer.
We look for reasons to spend time in nature so we can be’ smarter.’
Nowadays, plenty of things have a productivity objective- play with our kids because it makes them develop better, read to them because it helps them expand their vocabulary. We’re often just missing the point and forget that our life is NOT about being more productive, but being happier.
Carve some time every day to simply BE.
To watch what’s around you, without any other purpose.
How are the things on your to-do list connected to how you want to live? Do they support it on hinder it?
TAKE HOME MESSAGE
I think the misconception that life should be or can be easy is very dangerous.
Don’t feel guilty about taking the time to live. And trust me, time spent away from the hustle to clarify your intentions and reconnecting with your bigger WHY is not a wasted time. Of course, if it’s balanced with taking action and not as a strategy to procrastinate.
You’re daily To-be list.
Our lives are often busy, and we usually try to cram even more into our days.
Mindful productivity is good, but don’t forget that your life is happening as we speak.
Sometimes we need to be a little more intentional to shift our minds from the constant urge to do more or have more and simple BE; to smell, see, watch, amble and stroll. Sometimes it literally means watching the grass grow.