While I have written on this topic before, I would like to provide an alternative lens that may help me better synthesize my perspective.
I believe that “mental clutter” is insanely dangerous and very few people talk about it.
For starters, what am I referring to when I say mental clutter?
Mental clutter is literally everything. It is every piece of noise that enters through your eye balls into your brain on a day to day basis. It is your homework, the weather, what you ate for lunch, and your taxes. It is all of the randomness that is modern life balled into a single term that rolls around in the back of your head for eternity until you decide to clean it up. It grows in size over the years, as untouched topics become stale and moldy…becoming harder and harder for you to think about until they expire and cripple your soul.
That beautiful movie is what happens when we allow mental clutter to consume us.
How does this happen?
What tends to happen is we procrastinate making hard decisions. This becomes a habit and we build a portion of our brain – our mental state – is that specifically designed for stowing away hard things that we do not want to think about. We block out the darkness with bandaids. Bandaids are alcohol, news feeds, and running away. Bandaids make things worse in the long term because they never give time for wounds to heal.
I think the accumulation of your mental clutter is far worse than we actually think. I would go as far to say that any item that enters my mind must be dealt with or tossed out very quickly otherwise I end up with tons of stress and anxiety that slowly makes me a lower-output person.
So what is the solution?
I am not sure there is a general solution I could prescribe. What works best for me is having the mentality of writing everything down. If I have a worry, I will write it down and deal with it when the time is right. I also talk to people about things I cannot figure out – this helps me prevent build up.