So many people come to me feeling overwhelmed. One of the causes of overwhelm is an overload of stuff, people and events. A way to reduce the overwhelm is to be the gatekeeper of your own life and be mindful of what you do and do-not let into your world.
For example, how many unread messages do you have in your inbox from an email list you signed up to years ago? Do you have 1000s of unread messages sitting there every time you check your email? Whether you are aware of it or not this adds to your feeling of overwhelm.
Seeing unread messages in your inbox, or pushing aside piles of paper on your desk, or having your phone ping you with notifications incessantly all add to feelings of overwhelm. Even the fiercest gatekeeper will have moments of overwhelm, so how can you clear the confusion and find some peace and quiet?
Here are some practical steps you can take to declutter each area of your life.
1. Your home
Start with one area in your house. A bookshelf, a wardrobe, a tupperware cupboard, something that is simple and manageable.
Once you have done this, move onto the next area. This will create momentum and reduce overwhelm. It’s also nice because you get the benefits straight away.
The following day, look at the area you cleaned and smile thinking 'yeah, I did it and I’m so glad I did'. Remember to reward yourself by giving yourself praise when you look at your achievements.
This is important in all areas of life, not just when you declutter something your tupperware cupboard.
Do you have friendships that feel like dead weights? People who are negative and make you feel crap about yourself. People who seem incapable of giving a compliment or saying anything positive.
I just want to give you a gentle reminder that you are in the control seat of your life. You get to choose who you do and don’t spend time with. If you are not enjoying a friend’s company like you used to perhaps this is a good opportunity to re-evaluate how much time you should be spending with that person?
3. Your computer
Do you have files, photos and programs on your computer that you don’t need, don’t use but the thought of cleaning them out feels overwhelming? Do you get confused or frustrated when looking for documents or saving documents on your computer?
Having a messy hard drive will zap your energy and productivity when working on your computer. Every time you get stuck looking for a file will slow your momentum and mental process down. Invest time now, spend half a day cleaning up your digital clutter so you can be more efficient and effective when working on your computer.
When you get a bank statement do you look at it? Do you know what is coming in and out of your account? Do you double check on those unusual looking transactions?
Often I’ll have a transaction I don’t remember making and I follow it up because I recognise my regular and irregular debits. I know what my monthly subscriptions are and how much they cost.
Taking time to look at your bank statements will give you a better understanding of your spending and a greater feeling of control over your finances. This is not to replace a budgeting system, it's in addition to creating a budget.
Decluttering these areas of your life will drastically reduce feelings of overwhelm and confusion. Give them a go and let me know the benefits you receive. I would love to hear from you.