Oh, clutter, clutter, clutter. It’s a bully that intimidates us every day. Too much stuff. We know this. That’s why Marie Kondo, author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a best-selling, millionaire guru. But there’s another kind of clutter that weighs us down, and it’s not in our homes. It’s in our heads.
The nagging to-do list. Right? All those pesky tasks, simple ones, stagnant and ignored—they pile up and bring us down.
This became evident at a recent writer’s group (shout out to ModernWell, Nina Badzin, and Julie Burton.) Since it was our last session for a month, our writing prompt was easy and breezy: What are the simple things you avoid doing?
I’m telling you, pens raced across pages, and fingers flew on keyboards. Wow. Let me first acknowledge that what emerged is far from big-world problems, but something small became evident. The simple stuff that stacks up on our to-do lists hovers like a dark cloud. Brain clutter is a force to be reckoned with.
Again, it’s all simple stuff. But here are some of the top contenders:
- Phone calls. It seems we’ve lost the ability to make a phone call. Doctors’ appointments, dental appointments, vet appointments, whatever appointment, friends, your mother. Why? Well, texting and emailing are so much easier. That’s true. But lame.
RESOLUTION: Dial it, damn it! It’s not that difficult, and you’ll clear brain clutter.
- Shipping. Yep, shipping and mailing rose up as one of those pesky, easy-to-put-off tasks. You know, there is movement and time involved. Again lame.
RESOLUTION: Get in your car, go to UPS or FedEx, hand your item to a friendly clerk, walk out five minutes later, and feel the lightness lift in your task-laden brain.
- Returns. This appeared to be the granddaddy of task avoidance. Are you a well-intentioned returner that kinda sorta procrastinates bringing items back? Do you have a bag or two in the backseat or trunk, and you will complete the return? You really will. But you just haven’t done it yet?
RESOLUTION: Think Nike, people. Just do it! It’s a double whammy of relief. You’ll rid yourself an item you don’t need and have more money. To-do. Done.
There were loads more. Car wash avoidance (even well after the dreaded Wash Me was finger-scripted onto the back windshield) Growing laundry piles. Car maintenance. Paying bills that require a check only. (Come on, you don’t accept online payments? Just saying, dear creditor, it’s 2019!) Kid’s doctor forms for school. Etc. You get it. Trivial, trivial, trivial. But here’s the upshot.
Our mounting to-dos are costly. Emotionally and financially (those returns are worth money!) we’re burdened by the items that hound us. And while we all laughed in class and took comfort in moments of I do that too, it was eye-opening. Inspired, we set off to knock a bunch of stuff off our to-do lists.
Get it done, people. Just to-do it! Dial the number. Ship the shit. Return the merch. Then, you’ll experience the magic of tidying your brain. Temporarily. But still. Briefly life changing is good too.