I call this hack the CLEAN DESK hack – and you don’t literally have to clean your desk for it as it is a metaphor.
I’ll get into this really quickly for you.
Life can be hectic and full on and messy. We have tasks to complete, jobs to do, money to earn, family to give attention to and, oh yeah, we have to look after ourselves too. I believe that’s called adulting.
(No, not adultery…nevermind).
Anyways – life can be messy. Like a messy desk. The more tasks we have to do, it’s like we are piling up more stuff on this messy desk. We can’t see the desk for paper anymore.
What a lot of people do when they feel this overwhelm is they turn to external stuff. They want a break, they want a rest. So they switch on the tv, or go out for drinks or eat a lot of snacks. This may seem relaxing, but it doesn’t address the problem and eventually just adds more stuff to the clutter.
If you literally had a messy desk – how would you clean it?
You’d take everything off, and put back only what you need. And when you see things piling up, and you can’t see the desk top anymore, that’s a sign that a few things need to come off again.
So the first thing to understand is that adding more doesn’t make you feel better. What we need in our messy lives and messy full minds is some SPACE.
How do you get space? Well, in this case, you need to learn to PAUSE. Literally. You need to learn to stop at different times in the day. Just pause, just stop, just do nothing for a few moments.
What does this have to do with feeling less mentally cluttered? Quite a lot actually. Pausing through the day is akin to making the desk a bit more organized.
It’s creating space.
And it’s really easy and simple. You just have to STOP.
Stop what you’re doing, and just BE. Remember when you used to play musical statues as a kid – well it’s like that.
The more you stop, the more you create mental space.
Instead of adding more stuff, you create more space. This way you can see clearer, you gain a bit of focus and you lessen the overwhelm.
The thing is, we don’t often like to just stop and do nothing.
But tough, we all gotta learn to do it! Me too.
Otherwise, we are on a hamster wheel, continually chasing relaxation! We smoke, we eat, we drink, we binge watch, we get stressed about de-stressing.
Life gets on top of us and we want to create a to do list, but we just can’t think straight and we go from A to B and onward at warp speed.
Yeah, not very chilled.
The thing is, to feel relaxed, we don’t have to have a bubble bath or lots of time. What we need is 5 minutes a day to start with, but split up through the whole day. You create PAUSE POINTS in the day.
Here are some great PAUSE POINTS that remind you to pause and just be.
- Waiting for the kettle to boil
- Tying your shoelaces
- Brushing your teeth
- Putting the key in the lock
- Turning off the car engine
Give these a try every day and let me know what you think!