The words clutter and de-clutter weren’t in my vocabulary six years ago. As with other things in our culture, TV often leads the way in what Americans focus on. The shows, “Mission Organization” and “Clean Sweep” have brought these two words into our living rooms and beyond.
It occurred to me recently that my mind was becoming cluttered. Because I am a professional organizer, that bothered me. Even though I have not yet succumbed to the plethora of technology gadgets that are available, I do make use of a few of them. My computer has generated the most mental clutter that I deal with everyday. Just the emails alone for my business connections and friends and family send me into a tailspin when I see the number of messages.
I attend several networking meetings where I capture more information on business cards and get good ideas from the people I meet.
I read business books on organizing and running a business. There is more mental clutter.
When I open my snail mail I have more information to deal with. It makes my brain hurt just thinking about it.
What do you do with all of the mental clutter?
I have discovered a few ways to unload all of this information from my brain. Here are several suggestions:
- To handle the email messages, I have created several folders in Outlook with names of my webmaster, coach, organizations I belong to, a pending folder, and a Sunday reading folder. These folders are where I store messages that I might need to refer to at a later date. I do not read any personal emails during work time, but save them to read off the business clock. I read the other messages quickly and decide if I need to respond to them or if any action is needed by me. Then I file the messages in the appropriate folders. Of course any spam that gets through the filter is deleted immediately.
- The Sunday reading folder is a new invention of mine. I receive lots of good business newsletters, but don’t want to take the business time to read them all. So I put them immediately in the Sunday reading folder. Sundays are my days to relax, read, and socialize with family and friends. I usually read the newsletters on Sunday evening when I am relaxed and not trying to read other messages. It has helped tremendously to get rid of the mental clutter during the week.