Ok, I admit, I'm just talking about myself. MY life is overflowing with too much stuff. Here are some techniques I use to get rid of the clutter and really focus on the things that matter in life:
1) Turn off your phone. Ok fine, just put it on silent. The world isn't going to end. I put my phone on silent every night when I go to bed. I even turn off the data, and when I wake in the morning, I don't turn the data back on until I've had sufficient time for myself. (Brush my teeth, eat breakfast, do some morning stretches, look out the window and thank the world for another day).
2) Throw it out. I'm a big believer that our physical surroundings are a reflection of our inner selves. Take a look at your room. Is it overflowing with unnecessary items? How about your closet? You can't achieve a clear mind in a cluttered environment.
3) Exercise. There are so many benefits of exercise that go beyond just the way you look. When you exercise, you eat properly in preparation for the workout, you get your heart rate up which is great for your cardiovascular system, you sweat out your toxins, you're encouraged to drink more water, and to get rid of the soreness, you actually want to stretch and maintain your flexibility. Can't find the motivation? Join a class or have a friend go with you. Can't afford it? One round of drinks is more than enough to get you a monthly membership at your local gym. No excuses.
4) Avoid toxic people. Avoid the complainers, the whiners, the negative, and the ungrateful. Just as you are the product of your environment, you are also the product of the people you choose to be around, so don't surround yourself with toxic people. Instead, surround yourself with positive, supportive people that inspire you to live a healthy lifestyle.
5) Avoid activities that add no value. What activities are you investing your time in that provides little to no return? Do you really need to spend so many hours of your precious life scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed? Take notice of activities that don't enhance your career or personal life and cut them out.
6) Don't get angry. Most of the time we get angry because reality does not live up to our expectations. Reality often doesn't. Anger never seems to benefit anyone, and some even say that to be angry is to be a victim. Understand the anatomy of anger. Don't let it control you... next time you are confronted with anger, look past it and see the innocence.
7) Timeout. Our world has gotten so busy with the latest technological innovations. I personally don't even watch TV anymore, and recently went so far as not even turning on the radio when I drive. Be proactive about scheduling downtime so you can come back to your senses. Breath deeply. Remind yourself of the things that matter in life. Ignore the rest. Write, draw, or simply stare blankly out the window. People have made fun of me for being “out of the zone,” but maybe they're just too “in the zone.”
8) Travel. (Extra tip for those who have the opportunity). Backpacking through Europe was probably one of the most humbling experiences I've ever had in my life. I was only allowed what I could carry, and so I had no choice but to focus on the essentials. In addition, aside from the physical aspect of ridding myself of unnecessary clutter, venturing off into a different country opened up my eyes and reminded me that what I considered essential may not be so. I travel as a way to recalibrate my values, and if you can't go on a huge trip, just go for a quick hike.
It won't be easy. You're going to want to check out that new restaurant everybody's yelping about. You're going to want to buy those new Nike's. You're going to want to purchase the latest iPhone, and no matter how hard you try, you just can't stop watching Game of Thrones.
Make it a habit to focus on the things that truly matter in life. What matters? While it varies from person to person, it often comes down to spending quality time with your loved ones, doing things you're passionate about, and simply being grateful for what you have, right now.
by Jason Lam