Men­tal spring-clean

Dis­card what keeps you stuck and cre­ate or­der out of chaos

Life & Style Weekend - - MIND - with Rowena Hardy Rowena Hardy is a facilitato­rs, per­for­mance coach and part­ner of Minds Aligned www.mind­

SPRING is here and I have been em­bark­ing on some spring-clean­ing at our place. I’m happy to ad­mit that it’s pretty rare for me to do that on a large scale un­less we have guests stay­ing.

This time it’s as a re­sult of hav­ing had the in­te­rior com­pletely re­painted by pro­fes­sion­als and they have just fin­ished. That re­quired us to clear each room in turn and cre­ated the op­por­tu­nity to change things around as we chose a whole new colour scheme. We both re­marked how much brighter the rooms felt as we worked through them and en­joyed the process of de­cid­ing what would stay and what would not and how we put each room back to­gether.

We love the re­sult, which seems to have cre­ated a light­ness and har­mony in our sur­round­ings, like breath­ing a sigh of re­lief, or a cool breeze on a muggy sum­mer’s day, yet it was dif­fer­ent when it came time to re­assem­ble my home of­fice over the week­end.

Apart from all of the per­sonal pa­per­work that seems to ac­cu­mu­late over time, run­ning a busi­ness re­quires us to keep our fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion for up to seven years, and what with other files, sta­tionery sup­plies, ref­er­ence books and man­u­als, it all mounts up. So I ad­mit I was feel­ing over­whelmed at the prospect of sort­ing through all of the phys­i­cal clut­ter be­cause I’m nor­mally very or­gan­ised.

And then it dawned on me that the cup­board I was clear­ing was sim­i­lar to men­tal clut­ter (mine any­way); I think we all have busy brains now and then and there are times when it can be­come over­whelm­ing. So much in­for­ma­tion com­ing at us and not know­ing what to fo­cus on first can drive us to dis­trac­tion, lit­er­ally, and prob­a­bly pro­cras­ti­na­tion.

It clicked once I re­alised that and I made sure that I took time on each step, dis­carded what was no longer needed and had plenty of breaks and mo­ments to ap­pre­ci­ate how much progress I had made.

Grad­u­ally what had seemed like chaos be­came or­der. I com­pare it to when I put to­gether a work­shop, pre­sen­ta­tion or

We all have busy brains now and then and there are times when it can be­come over­whelm­ing

ar­ti­cle; I gather loads of in­for­ma­tion so that I’m fa­mil­iar with the topic, do lots of pon­der­ing and eval­u­a­tion, cap­ture the de­tail into one doc­u­ment then cull it back to the most rel­e­vant bits – in­for­ma­tion hoard­ing then de­clut­ter­ing if you like; cre­at­ing or­der from chaos.

How of­ten do we do a men­tal and emo­tional de­clut­ter, tak­ing time to slow our minds, pon­der what is rel­e­vant and help­ful and dis­card what keeps us stuck?


SPRING CLEAN: Take time for a men­tal and emo­tional de­clut­ter as well.

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