Question of the week – mental clutter

Dublin, Ireland, 2008

When I say the words “mental clutter” …

  1. what do you immediately think of?

  2. do you struggle with mental clutter?

  3. which questions regarding mental clutter would you most like me to answer?

Don’t overthink this – leave me your comment to one, two or all of the above questions 🙂

I have half a post done but want to make sure I answer all your questions.

If you’d like help creating a life you absolutely love, contact me about my coaching services.

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  1. Mental clutter for me is what is in my head . I am trying to use methods to help me phonelists and calendars . When I take the time to use a calendar and dump everything into it works awesome it is finding the time.
    No real questions but I can hardly wait to read your post on it .

  2. oh boy! Mental clutter is a biggie. I would say that mental clutter is everything in my brain that has no usable function with what I am doing at the moment. This includes things like memories new and old, day dreams, lists and plans, ideas and projects, conversations and other communications, even bodily functions and personal awareness. I like to use a notebook as a brain dump nightly which allows me to sleep a little better, but during the day I get sidetracked by many other things. I find myself thinking about conversations and things I could have said differently or even thinking over the strange dream I had the night before. I think about being cold… if my toes or fingers or nose is cold, I can barely get it out of my mind. I write things down, list them, calendar them and still find myself reminding myself to NOT FORGET whatever… and it seems like I always forget on the days I think about it the most. Part of my problem is that my brain is not one to focus easily. I am always multi-tasking and only focus when things are extreme, when projects are important or deadlines are looming. It is my brain, my center. I dont know how to stop it from running amuk and thinking things I might rather defer to another time. Like I mentioned, I use a brain dump, I calendar things immediately, I journal as my day goes on, and as often as possible I try to deal with things immediately or efficiently depending on importance. But it IS my brain and it IS in control. LOL… I dont know what else to do, how else to overcome. And what about disorders? Things like OCD and anxiety and other functionally depleting thought disorders may cause normal thoughts to pause or vanish while obsessions take over, or thoughts may race uncontrollably or even worse, focus might be impossible. How do you conquer those problems? Prescription medications are one way, but there has to be a behavioral pattern that can be altered to accomplish nearly the same thing without the chemical interference. I look forward to hearing any and all suggestions you have. Anne.

  3. Claire Barn says

    I’m speechless!!!!
    Mental clutter to me is all the stuff running around in your head all day long. Mostly it is fine, but occasionally, when something else overloads it, everything falls out, with the most important things falling first!!!
    I have found, after reading your previous posts, that keeping a notebook handy and writing stuff down is a good way to manage it all, but it does require some discipline to stick to it!!!

  4. Mohammad says

    Any unorganized thought and/or any to do item in our mind that doesn’t follow a strong and stable established process is mental clutter. So they are useful for getting small things done.

    But it is very important to connect and organize them in an orderly fashion so that we don’t suffer out of them during stress and overload. My personal feeling is that the more we can free our mind of them the better.

  5. Mental clutter for me is trying to achieve, to compete and is letting ‘status’ play a role in your thougts and activities. how can i get rid of this?

  6. Connie Corey says

    Mental clutter is anything not related to what I am focused on right now- the stuff that sidetracks me, the stuff that keeps me awake at night. I find that I deal with it best by writing it down – yes, EVERY SINGLE STINKING THING. For me, it’s usually stuff I know I need to do, but either haven’t gotten to or don’t have time to do right now.Writing it down means the fear I have that I will forget it disappears.

  7. jenny de lacy says

    Mental Clutter is the noise that distracts from focusing on the work I need to focus on, it wakes me up at night, it pops into my head when I am trying to focus on other things. I have written lists about “what is creaating noise?” and sometimes they are things that need to be done, or thought about, or to get support for, or possibly to let go as something I cannot control. I agree with all the comments above, but especially the “fear that I will forget”. if the mental clutter is so distracting I simply have to act on some of it (mess in the house, washing, school notices etc are often on that list). The other strategy I am currently starting on is having a clearer weekly schedule, so that if the mental clutter relates to something I have already scheduled in time for (eg Monday is my at home, kids and house errands and to do list, house work) then I can relax as I know I will take care of it at that time. as a single mum of three boys working for myself I will never be free of mental clutter will I?

  8. I love this topic as I have a presentation that I conduct on “mind clutter”. I guess it would be the same as “mental clutter.” The thing is we can control what we allow into our minds. We open our minds to media, people, reading materials, etc. What we absorb is what we put out. We can have a clear mind and I always use the scenario of a building that has been demolished and the land was left clean and neat. Someone comes along and sees the land and dumps their garbage (paint cans, trash, etc.) onto the land and leaves it there. The next individual drives by and sees the other garbage and he dumps his stuff there as well. By the individuals dumping their garbage this gives others permission to dump their stuff as well. And, so this is with our minds. We allow others to dump their stuff into our minds, resulting in mind clutter. All the suggestions the other ladies have stated are excellent ways to clear your mind clutter. Also, I think with our fast paced society we put so much into our minds that we don’t allow ourselves time to process what we have absorbed resulting in a jumbled mess and chaos. So ladies, slow down!!! Thank you for allowing me to share. Karen Augustine, CEO of Neat Niche by Karen, LLC

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