By: Nuha Atef
“Always remember your focus determines your reality.” -George Lucas
It is an unassailable fact that focus and drive are the key elements to succeed. Whether it be in following our dreams and aspirations or maintaining a work/life balance.
However, life may become a mess without exercising absolute order and discipline. It is, therefore, vital to be organized and neat to remain upbeat with the fast-paced world. No one wants to deal with unwanted junk regularly, be it in any form. It can be pretty overwhelming, as this may harm the mental processes and daily performance.
The art of decluttering
Decluttering doesn’t require buying fancy tools or gadgets, but you just need a few basic things such as baskets and bins. Elizabeth Larkin, an expert in organisation and productivity, suggests these five steps in her blog/book to help you get started:
1. Store things in their designated spots:
For example – keep the cleaning products in one place. That may be your cupboard in the bathroom, a storage room, or under the kitchen sink. Organise yourself in a way where similar objects/items are kept together. You would never keep your toolbox with the cleaning products.
2. Collect all recyclable items in one container:
Keep a specific bin for all things that need to be recycled. We always wonder what to do with those dead batteries! A recycling bin or container will allow you to collect such items and take them to the skip or recycle through your weekly garbage collection service.
3. Mend or fix items:
Keep a container for things that could do with a repair. This can be a pair of shoes or your favourite Hijab or dress. For the ones that need fixing, give them to your local cobbler and tailors - you would be amazed at what they could do! Throw less and fix more!
4. Items to be thrown:
Label a basket or container specifically for things that you need to get rid of. Throw items that are no longer usable/mendable in your household trash. You’ll suddenly have a lot more space in your closet!
5. Donate often:
Keep a basket to collect all items that you can donate to a local charity. Ensure that these are items you no longer need but are still in good enough condition to donate. This can include clothes, shoes, bags, shelves, etc.
Keep these baskets or containers in a designated spot so you can organise your belongings as per the above. Doing this regularly will ensure you stay organised.
Clear Space, Clear Mind
Our brain is very similar to a computer. Its performance can be affected when we have unused tabs and programs running at the back, like worry and guilt. The type of clutter we cannot see but is still present. Visible clutter will only add to our misery.
Findings of a study conducted by the Princeton Neuroscience Institute reveal that we get more distracted if there’s clutter around us. To sharpen our minds and achieve clarity, it’s vital to observe what clutters our surroundings and our brains. So, try to maintain a clean home, your desk at work, your wardrobe, and anything else that may cause anxiety.
To tackle these invisible elements, which sit in the depths of our subconscious, it is important to note these down and work on them one by one. Try jotting all thoughts that are clogging your brain. Initially, there will be a lot of emotions pouring on paper but keep writing and acknowledge and embrace them.
The next shift, your mind will have is reasoning. Remain in the same flow, eventually work your way towards a solution. Once you find a solution, execute it. And don’t procrastinate because procrastination will create more room for confusion and obscurity.
Organise your life
Discipline is truly crucial to remaining a sense of calm in our lives. Our daily routine needs to be organised to help set our goals and achieve them. Being unable to do so results in us being overwhelmed and forces us to worry about our unfinished tasks.
Our bodies, like routine, which means simple things like eating on time, sleeping, and waking up on time, can have a positive impact on our well-being. A poor diet and sleep pattern is known to affect our hormones, which can accelerate negative thoughts and can even lead to depression and anxiety.
If we make small changes in our lives, it can prove to be quite effective. Schedule your days to allow yourself to complete your house chores on specific days of the week, set yourself some time to socialise or for any hobby you enjoy. Make some time for physical exercise.
If it’s hard to get yourself at the gym, then start with a 30-minute walk or a 30-minute routine at home. It’s essential to get those endorphins going for your overall well-being.
Most importantly, take a break when you can and remind yourself to be grateful for all the things you have, and you will see the positivity racing back at you with full force. Learn to slow down and let go to enjoy life, for every passing moment is worth living for.