“Do you ever feel like your mind is one big, infinitely scrolling, incredibly cluttered to-do list? And are you always struggling to keep it updated, remember what’s on it, readjust its priorities, and delete what no longer serves you?” asks Hailey Reissman in the introduction to her post on Carroll’s prescription for a mental clear-out.
If you’re nodding yes, then you need to proceed the same way you would if stuff tumbled out of your overstuffed closets every time you opened the door: Take everything out, lay it in front of you, and sort the valuable bits from the discard-worthy junk.
What’s the best way to Kondo your mind this way? Carroll recommends a simple, old-fashioned, but highly effective tool: a journal.
“We have to externalize our thoughts to de-clutter our mind,” Carroll explains. “Holding thoughts in your mind is like trying to grasp water–it’s nearly impossible. But by writing down our thoughts, we can capture them clearly so we can work with them later.”
I – Word Understanding
Discard-worthy – needs to be disposed / thrown away
Journal – diary / a record of experiences,ideas, reflections for private use
II – Have Your Say
1. Do you keep a journal? What do you think about keeping a journal?
2. Here are steps to start a journal and de-clutter your mind:
a. Write down the things that you need to do, the things that you should be doing, and the things that you want to do
b. Consider why you’re doing each of these things.
c. Ask: “Is it vital?” and “Does it matter to me or someone I love?” “If your answer is no to both of those, you’ve just identified a distraction, and you can cross it off your list.”
d. Break each big project down into small, actionable steps.
e. Spend time every day revising your inventory