Beat Clutter with Mental Tidying, 1 Bold Way

Beat Clutter with Mental Tidying, 1 Bold Way

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Tidying can be both the most relaxing or stressful depending on how we view it. Tidying is our natural response to something being amiss. It is what we need to do to beat clutter in our homes. When our house is especially chaotic, we take out a Tuesday morning to help clean up the rooms. It’s our way to rid ourselves of the constant chaos in our homes.

But, is This Necessary to Beat Clutter?

Now sure, not having to tidy would be spectacular. If we had some “consistent” control over our domain, then we would never have to spruce up our world, but we don’t. We will never have a perfect understanding of why the table ends up cluttered, or our desk ceases functionality, but it happens. Applying those ideas to us, we find mental havoc. And so, changing our mindset about our ‘mental mess’ changes our intrinsic motivation. It allows for ‘mental tidying’ to be the perfect primer for a motivated afternoon.

Mental Tidying Defined

What is ‘mental tidying’? It’s our capacity to keep our mind in check. To re-instate motivational order over our thoughts and tasks. But, that is a mouthful, how might that be conveyed even simpler? Mental tidying is organizing our minds. It allows us to stand at the wall of our To-Do lists and say, “this should be done first, or this…”. Mental tidying smacks that list down to one. It helps us focus in on what needs to accomplish sooner than later.

Time to Beat Clutter

How can we start to clean up our thoughts, or even organize our hectic brains, so that mental tidying is a breeze? First, we have to define our intrinsic motivations. We need a clearer understanding of what it is we hope to accomplish with today’s work. Our priorities are always there but without a clear vision of what they are, how might we satisfy them?

Step Zero: Define our Intrinsic Motivation

Our intrinsic motivation is what drives our inner-workings. It’s the gas for our mental engine, and without a full picture of what matters, we can’t drive anywhere meaningful. Laying out our intrinsic motivations can be as simple as grabbing a piece of paper, staring at it for far too long, and writing down oh so perfectly what matters to us. But often, life isn’t that clean cut. And, for us to see what makes us tick, we need to pry our minds open and look at it from new perspectives. How might we do that?

Step One: Make a List

Sit down, like you ordinarily do for these kinds of mental aerobics. Now, brainstorm the ‘why’s’ of your current To-Do list. Don’t have a To-Do list? Time to make one! Sketch out what you need to be accomplished, and try to be as orderly as possible. Look at each bulleted item and try to understand the reasoning. Just like in The Bullet Journal Method, you want to define intent. Once intent is established, the bridge between finishing your list and understanding your mind strengthens.

Step Two: Notice What’s Clutter

With a list written down (or for those interested in reading and not participating, with a list imagined) it is time to clear out the clutter. Figuring out why we do most of what we do makes crossing out so much easier. Let’s say you have three tasks written down:

  • Read 100 pages
  • Break down the holiday decorations
  • Make dinner from scratch

From the outside, these look like respectable goals, right? Each of them accomplishes a different aspect for running a nice, clean life. But, why do we want to finish each? The reading might help us learn more or entertain us. The holidays are a fun time, but finally moving on to the next season has to be done. And last, making dinner from scratch is more than just satisfying, it’s a healthier and cheaper way to enjoy a meal.

Step Three: Applying the Why to the Clutter

Each of these tasks are useful. They all will make your life better, they all will leave you feeling a little bit more accomplished. So how do we stand to make any progress? By picking one first. Attach the why. Look at your list and then back again at what you know about yourself. Although reading and cooking are fun, maybe what’s been nagging at your motivation has been the holidays. Maybe, you find clearing out the house will help you reach happier standings. Or, perhaps, the holiday decorations bring you joy and reading will be what you need to stay on top of your mood? However you paint it, one of these tasks must stand out.

Mental Tidying Wrapped Up

Taking the time out of your day to prepare for what’s to come isn’t a new concept. As was said in Win Condition or Over-Optimization, preparing is more than half of the battle. So remember, productivity will go up seamlessly alongside a tidy mind.

For more on the psychological upside to tidying, check out this CNN report!

Good Read? Want More?

Did you find this useful or neat to read about? Comment down below! For more on intent and how to properly make a journal, check out The Bullet Journal Method. As always, thanks for reading and happy Thursday!

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