I recently wrote this post on the benefits of incorporating a Digital Detox strategy into your life where you ensure that you get regular time out from sitting at a screen and interacting with social media. I also recommended long stretches of Digital Detox too – like when you are away on holidays!
I listed 10 good reasons to introduce regular Digital Detox into your life and I’ve decided that for the next 10 Mindful Monday’s I would go into a little more detail on each of the 10 reasons I listed.
Today we will be looking at No. 1:
DE-CLUTTER YOUR MIND
When we spend a lot of time staring at a computer screen, flitting between writing, reading Facebook, watching You Tube video’s, checking Twitter, pinning to Pinterest, posting to Instagram, and so on …. it creates a lot of what I call ‘NOISE’ in our minds. So much activity! So much information! So much stimulation! So much thinking! So much clutter!
We need to take regular time out from this over-stimulation in order to reduce that NOISE so that we can de-clutter our minds.
We can’t begin to de-clutter our minds though until we first embrace some digital silence and quiet time so that our brain activity slows down and our minds are less noisy! By all means – listen to your breath, listen to the sounds of nature, listen to the sounds of your family – but no screen time, no social media (at least for your allocated digital detox time).
Once the noise has quietened, it is time for a bit of a de-clutter of the mind! I like to imagine that my mind is an office and in that office is an in-tray. Take some time to sort through all the stuff in your mind’s in-tray.
Each item in your in-tray is a thought, a job that is waiting to be done, appointments that are in the back of your mind to be made, guilt over a friend you haven’t seen in ages, worries and stresses, ideas that have been bubbling away in there. Grab a pen and some paper and begin to sort each item in your in-tray into one of the following categories:
- What can be thrown in the rubbish?
Unimportant miscellaneous mind clutter. Worries you have identified as silly are you are ready to let them go.
- What can be delegated to someone else?
For example – household chores that another family member could help out with.
- What can be put on hold for now?
Stuff you’d like to do but it is not essential it be done now. Don’t clutter your mind with it now.
- What belongs in your ‘worries’ folder?
We all have worries and anxieties (some more than others). This folder is for the ones you are not able to let go of and throw in the rubbish. Some worries are very real (sick/unwell family members; financial stress etc) and some are genuine fear-based anxieties (what if’s) that we cannot let go of until the threat/risk/hazard is no longer there.
- What needs to be actioned in the near future?
No rush but needs to be attended to within the month.
- What needs urgent attention?
Tasks that must be done ASAP – within the next few days.
- What needs to be actioned soon?
Tasks that need to be done within the next fortnight.
Once all items in your in-box are under one of the above categories, then you move on to the next steps.
- Throw out the rubbish
- Delegate items to be delegated
- Get out your diary or calendar and schedule when you will attend to the items listed under 5, 6 & 7. Choose a date to put a bring-up reminder on any items under 3.
- File your worries in the ‘worries’ folder and slip it into the filing cabinet in your mind’s office. Worries and anxieties must be acknowledged, so let’s do that and then file them away neatly where they are still with us but we have the control and sense of order. Some worries you may have identified as silly and/or unnecessary and have been able to throw in the rubbish.
Now take a moment to stand back and admire that de-cluttered in-tray in your mind’s office! Ahhh! Doesn’t that feel good?!
Next Mindful Monday we will be looking at No. 2 on my list of 10 – Reconnect with the Present. This is another beautiful way to slow down and quieten the noise in our minds!
Ciao for now,
[ This post is linked up with One Mother Hen’s #openslather ]
Sounds blissful! I don’t hang out on social media so much anymore – just post and run when it comes to Facebook. There’s too much to do and I just don’t like the vortex of so much ‘noise’ in my life. (There’s enough of it around me in my home!) x
I don’t hang out on social media either. I never really have – especially not Twitter (not my thing). FB and Instagram are my favs. Pinterest I like but don’t spend a lot of my time there. FB is the one that can send me off into a vortex. As you say – there’s enough ‘noise’ in our real lives, so we need to minimise and have control over the noise from our on-line / social media lives 😉 x
Love the worries folder! Think mine would be a little large but once again thanks for the inspiration I need to de-clutter – now!
My worries folder IS large but at least I get a sense of control and order which helps a bit 😉
Great tips! I love your analogy of viewing your mind like an in-tray!
Thanks Ingrid 🙂
Today I’ve put quite a few worries away, until tomorrow, some work has had to take that space but it’s all for a good reason!
Yep no need to let them take over – file them away – they’ll still be there!
I usually find if I don’t put off the hard stuff, or the stuff that is niggling me the most, it makes the day go so much better. I don’t mind having a break from the internet, sometimes it’s needed 🙂
I don’t mind a break from the internet either Alicia. In fact I love it! 🙂
The worries folder is a great idea! Acknowledging worries and then filing them away for later sounds great to me. x
Works for me Fleur! It’s just a little trick to make you feel that you have a sense of control and order over these things 🙂 x
Another awesome post that gets me thinking Min! I need to get so much better organised as I flit between different things rather than sticking through and finishing off one thing! Case in point… I have 9 tabs open on my screen….
Thanks Zita! I’m glad it’s got you thinking. I often have a zillion (ok slight exaggeration) tabs open too. Trick is to just make sure you get regular breaks from it all! 🙂
I love the idea of a digital detox. I have a no screens before bed rule – one hour before everything has to go off. I can read, I can write with pen and paper, but no screens, no excuses. Just to give my brain time to relax and re-centre. For one month a year I go to an island off the coast of Finland and stay at a cottage that doesn’t even have power – when the phone runs out of juice that is it – and it is bliss 🙂
Fluffy, The Island time sounds like bliss, Im so envious.
I love your no screens before bed rule. I have the same rule! Totally envious of your trips to an island off the coast of Finland! It sounds so fabulous! I think it would be great to go back to basics now and then – no power, no phone. For a little while anyway LOL 🙂