Declutter Your Life To Increase Motivation

“Decluttering” is a term being used in a variety of ways, such as reducing relationships, distractions, and cleaning. Originally, the term was coined for a minimalist lifestyle where people are looking to see fewer items around the home that collect dust and cause anxiety.

We have taken the term and applied it to more areas of our lives to gain more happiness in life, work, and relationships.

It is a concept that will help boost confidence and increase self-motivation.

Physical Clutter

Physical clutter refers to materialistic concepts. Look around the room you are in, what do you see? As you observe the room, are there things you have not looked at for six months? Are there things you put on a table for convenience rather than necessity?

As an example, let’s say our busy person who cannot take cybersecurity courses, lives in a small space. Due to the business in life, the mail is on multiple surfaces, journals are everywhere, books are stacked all over the place, and dust bunnies are additional companions to the pets.

How do you think the person might feel coming into the home, going to the workspace, and seeing things everywhere, with no clear organization, pattern, or empty surface?

Each person is different, but it is more apt to say the person would find it difficult to compartmentalize. The clutter pushes the anxiety to increase, so the person starts thinking about all the tasks that need to be completed, the family drama that is taking time and money away from other goals, and now the motivation to get work done is at an all-time low. 

The person wants to tackle all goals, but the pressure and anxiety to do the most important work first, what makes the money, increases. 

This increase in pressure and anxiety reduces the motivation, the person wants to seek something to make them happy or at least feel less tired and to believe the brain has the power to ensure the completion of the most important goal.

If the person instead took ten minutes a day to put things in their place, eliminate the useless mail, and organize items used daily, the workspace would be clear, decluttered, useable, and the motivation would be there to complete the task without anxiety increasing. 

The focus would be on the important goal and not on everything else that needs to be done but is not getting completed.

From the example, you can see the cyclical problems that physical clutter could create, depending on your personality. Some people have the ability to live in a mess and never see it. It could actually create more anxiety to reduce the clutter than to leave it.

What type of person are you? If you believe you can deal with physical clutter, yet never seem to have the motivation it is time to change.

Some people can leave clutter, ignoring the mess, because their laser focus is on one goal, but the key is the person has the motivation to complete the work and is doing so, regardless of the world around them.

There are little things that can be done to ignore or to reduce the clutter.

Ignore the Clutter for Motivation

Let’s say you are the first example, where the clutter is bothering you, but you do not have time to fix it because the goal is too important. You do not want to lose to yourself and wish to gain motivation.

1). Create tunnel vision. If you have a shirt with a hood, wear it and put the hood up, blocking your peripheral vision.

2). Move things closer that you will need while completing the task, such as a glass of water close and within your vision for easy reach.

3). If you are using a computer, but time is increasing anxiety, hide the clock.

4). Take a deep breath and let it out.5). Turn on relaxing music, if possible, such as new age or classical. Something that instils a relaxed mind, and not something that will cause your heart to race.

6). Focus only on what is in front of you that matters to complete the task.

7). When you have completed a quarter of the task, stand up, remove something from the work area that creates clutter. Put it elsewhere, place it where it belongs, or throw the trash away.

8). Go back to your task, with your tunnel vision.

Keep to these steps until the task is complete. Set small goals to meet during the major task. For instance, if you know a task should take you five hours, and you will need lunch in the middle of it, then set a goal to meet before the meal, and reward yourself with lunch.

Let’s say you need to type up a report that is 10,000 words, and you can type 2,000 words in an hour. By noon, you should have 5,000 words complete, and thus you have half of the report for after your meal.

You gained a break, food to keep you going, and you completed a goal, which can help reduce the anxiety of meeting the deadline by the end of the day.

In such a scenario, you may set sixty seconds aside each hour to stand up, stretch, and sit back down to help keep your body active. Studies show if you have been sitting you need to stand to help bring back energy.

Reduce the Clutter

You have one tactic for dealing with physical clutter that may be impacting your motivation and anxiety. Let’s consider a different option. You may discover that until you reduce the clutter you are unable to focus on the important task. 

Yes, you may want to attack the entire problem, but for now, reducing the clutter in your work area (going with the work example) is imperative.

1). Clean up your work surface.

2). Start with the mail, throw away the envelopes, and put the bills o paperwork in an area that is meant for such things. You might put everything in the respective folders or in a stack on the corner of your desk.

3). Work through the areas that are bothering you, such as putting books near the shelves where they go.

4). Once the surface is clean, and your vision sees cleanliness, wipe the surface of dirt, debris, or pet hair.

5). Now, you have accomplished a goal.

6). Use this completion and the feelings it provided to begin the imperative task.

You gain more focus in this method than you might with tunnel vision, which ultimately saves you time. If you consistently see the mess and cannot ignore it, your thoughts are on the clutter, which means you are reducing your focus on the goal and ensuring it takes you longer—possibly past the deadline—to meet the goal.

Decide what type of personality you have regarding tunnel vision or clutter reduction. Use the method that suits you best to work on decluttering your physical surface.

The key factor is to realize that small goals throughout the process are going to provide you with a sense of accomplishment and happiness, which will increase your overall motivation.

The simple act of starting and completing a simple task makes you want to see what else you can do. It is the dopamine that ensures your desire to stay on task is there.

Obviously, the example is more about a work situation, where physical clutter creates distractions and anxiety. You may have a life that allows you plenty of time to perform daily routines, such as cleaning, but you constantly avoid it because there is nothing to push you.

Eliminating Clutter when Motivation is a Factor

You are a person with plenty of time and you think to yourself “Oh, I’ll do that tomorrow.” Then you find something to distract you. 

Perhaps, your emotional state is precarious due to life struggles leading to anxiety and depression, therefore, you are asking what the point of doing anything is. 

For anxiety and depression, seeking help is necessary. When you are a person distracted by fun and entertainment rather than timing issues or emotional stress, the following tips might help.

1). Set a goal, such as ten minutes spent on decluttering and cleaning.

2). Turn on music, the TV you know you can listen to in the background or ask someone to time you.

3). Being the task.

Studies show that once you start something, even with a time goal in mind, you will want to finish the task. Now, understand it will not work for everyone. A person with ADHD can start a goal and leave it unfulfilled by getting distracted about something else.

You must understand your personality before you can follow tips that work for you.

It is even better when you realize you have set a time limit and completed the task before the limit occurred. For example, a person might have set a goal of reaching half the word count by noon, and discovered they did more than that, they exceeded it by 100 words, before 11:55 am.

The point is you need to understand who you are, your strengths and limitations, and the rewards that will make you smile. Once you have those ingredients, you will start creating new pathways to ensure motivation helps you complete any task you set your mind to and thus you will take on opportunities that become available.

As a motivation quote says, “You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it, however.”

Emotional Clutter

Reducing physical clutter is often easier than dealing with emotional baggage when it comes to getting motivated. But there are things you can do to help alleviate some of your concerns to help bring back your motivation.

Eliminate any possible diseases, illnesses, or disorders that could affect your motivation. Depression keeps being mentioned because it does have an enormous impact on your ability to complete tasks. Depression is linked with hormonal imbalances, so it can be related to diseases or disorders like hyper or hypothyroid. Other hormones if not supplied enough can mimic depression. Depression is one medical and mental condition that can be addressed with medication.

Anxiety is another psychological issue that can relate to illness, as much as it relates to one’s mental health. Fear may be a constant companion or situational. It is possible you can take medication for the anxiety if it is a constant companion. There are other methods such as meditation and breathing techniques you can use to reduce anxiety while it is at its height.

The best thing to do when it comes to emotional clutter is to address things head-on. Do not let them build up and become more problematic. Working through the things that affect you the most is imperative. But, not always possible. 

For example, a person could have so many things going on from too much work, too little money, housing concerns, child care concerns, and quite a bit else than focusing on the most important task because difficult. Instead of putting aside the things that are not as imperative, you might continue to think of everything all at once and feel like your mind is going to explode.

The good news—it won’t—you can also develop compartmentalization. Creating a box for storing the topics you are unable to think about right now is not limited to men. Somewhere along with the line women were told that we couldn’t possibly compartmentalize the various tasks in our mind and focus on just one thing. 

However, billions of women do this daily. We just prefer to talk about our emotions and display our affections more readily than men do.

How Compartmentalization Works

1). Picture a box in your mind.

2). Place the various thoughts you have inside, creating a new space for each distinct concept. For example, emotions have an area, anxiety has another, personal tasks, and professional goals each has their own spot.

3). Leave only the most important task out and in the forefront of your mind. Concentrate on the steps that need to be completed.

4). You can mentally lock the box if you wish. You can also force it closed when your brain starts thinking about topics that are not the main concern. Visualization is great for this type of technique because you can mentally imagine all of these thoughts being securely placed out of your immediate attention and focus on what matters.

5). When one task is complete, you can take out another from the box and focus on it.

6). Sometimes you can leave thoughts locked inside the box for several days or weeks, until you are able to finally face them or deal with them, such as emotional turmoil that causes undue stress or pain.

You will have to deal with the emotional baggage at some point. However, compartmentalization is one way to put it on the back-burner until you have the time or are ready. There are also steps you can use to just “let things go.”

Negative emotions are not necessary to carry around. Realizing what you can control and change versus what you cannot is a way to let go of the negative and focus on the positives. We cannot control other people, their thoughts, emotions, or actions. 

To declutter your mind further, sometimes it is necessary to simply and actively state what is true—you are your own power, your mind is capable of learning new things, and anyone who attempts to eat away at your confidence and motivation is not worth paying attention to or being around.

There are times when you must walk away from family, friends, or acquaintances because you realize they are enabling you to lose your motivation or confidence. Unhappy people can bring you down and they can distract you because they try to gain your attention, diverting it from what matters.

As we work through new sections on motivation, confidence, and anxiety, we will examine relationships. More details about how relationships with friends, family, and acquaintances can impact your motivation will be discussed. For now, consider your emotional state.

Do you feel at peace? Is your brain going a mile a minute with too many thoughts? Are your thoughts preventing you from taking action on anything because there is too much going on or are you attempting to distract yourself with rewards before you complete the work?

It is a cycle we can get into, where the rewards happen before we are done, and it is tough to break. Luckily, your neuroplasticity makes it possible to redirect your brain to overcome the negative cycles you might be in and attain the personal growth you desire.

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