Clearing Out The Clutter

clearing out the clutter

In today's audio postcard I'm talking about clearing out clutter - mental clutter, that is

Once you've had a chance to listen, here's a question for you.

What's one area in your life where you can clear some mental clutter?

Leave a comment and let me know!

Postcard Summary

Today I want to talk to you about clearing out the clutter - mental clutter.

We carry around so much mental clutter on a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis. All of the stuff that you're holding in your brain all day long. And it's truly exhausting.

Lately, I've been feeling scattered and disorganized. And as I think about the coming new year, and changes I want to make in my life, I can’t help but notice the stress all this mental clutter creates.  

The multitasking myth

There's a myth that multitasking is actually a thing that we can do. Have you ever caught yourself saying, “I’m a great multitasker!” and felt a swell of pride. Or felt a pang of jealousy when a friend told you about her kickass multitasking skills?

So many of us think we’re fantastic multitaskers. But the dirty little secret is that multitasking doesn't actually work unless you’re talking about automatic habits. Like walking and chewing gum at the same time.

Studies show that the human mind can only truly multitask when it comes to highly automatic behaviors like walking. For activities that require conscious attention, there is really no such thing as multitasking, only task-switching - the process of flicking the mind back and forth between different demands. It can feel as though we’re super-efficiently doing two or more things at once. But in fact we’re just doing one thing, then another, then back again, with significantly less skill and accuracy than if we had simply focused on one job at a time.
— Christian Jarrett*

browser tabs

Anyone else end up with eleventy bajillion tabs open in their browser? (it can't be just me!)

But you can only give your attention to one thing at a time, right? So you can’t possibly look at all those tabs at once.

And you end up hopping and floating around, never really fully focusing on any one thing.

It’s exhausting!

to-do lists

To-do lists are amazing. They keep you organized and help you get things done. But they also have a way of getting out of control.

They get long and unwieldy. As you try to capture All. The. Things. that you need to, want to, nay, must, get done.

I realized the other day, that I had a to-do list that had been sitting next to my computer for at least 2 weeks. And I hadn't done one thing on the list. Not one!

So I took a look and realized that none of the things on this precious to-do list of mine were at all essential.

I picked it up. Crumpled it into a ball. And threw it in the trash.

Aaaaah, sweet relief!

No more to-do list to staring me down and taking up unnecessary space in my brain.


Oh those pesky notifications! (You know they’re designed to keep you seeking more and more, right?)

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter - social notifications galore. Not to mention email notifications.

All the pings and dings that pop up throughout your day, tearing your attention away from the important shit you're desperately trying to get done.

Fear of Missing out

There is so much stuff coming into your inbox every day. Inbox overwhelm is real!

The same goes for all the fun and interesting groups you’re in over on Facebook.

You want to “keep up with what’s going on in the world”. You don’t want to miss out on all the awesomeness. Right?

But when you’re inbox is so full that it makes you dizzy, it’s impossible to keep up.

And when your Facebook feed is overflowing with posts from all those super cool groups, there is no end in sight to all the scrolling.

So you’re missing stuff anyway. And you know what? It’s totally fine!

You’ll be OK. I promise!

It’s time to unsubscribe.


Single-task (aka, do one thing at a time).

Tear up those lists.

Silence all the pings and dings!



*As written in Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind