Who’s in Charge?

When we think about information overload, we quickly go to our inbox as a major source of mental clutter and stress. Not only is the number of e-mails in our inbox a source of pressure, but also the feeling that this pressure is caused externally by others: someone, somewhere sent us something that we now need to deal with. These others can be colleagues, clients, friends, family, as well as newsletters (requested or not) from a whole range of organizations or groups, as well as unsolicited or commercial spam. There is a feeling of lack of control about all this digital clutter that requires our attention.

But what about the information overload and stress from it that we cause to ourselves? An intention of 10 distracting minutes on our social media/news platform of choice very rapidly turns into 30 to 60 minutes, leaving us wondering where that time has gone? And as we become increasingly familiar with the manipulative nature of the technology to keep us on the platforms for as long as possible, we again feel a sense of loss of our own agency. And our usual pattern of giving ourselves a hard time kicks in, our internal critic gets involved, and we cause a whole new layer of mental clutter that we now need to deal with.

So let’s claim that agency back! Here are 3 simple steps to follow (to be repeated as often as necessary):

  1. pay careful attention to what you are currently spending your valuable brain capacity on
  2. with this awareness, decide what needs to change and how you will do that
  3. make it happen! (and knowing that you’re in control, you can make it as easy as it sounds)

Feel free to enlist the help of others (friends, colleagues, professionals, technology even) to keep you accountable to the goals you set yourself until they become your new habit. And if you want to spend 2 hours reading the news, that’s OK, just as long as you have actively chosen to do so, and you do it with full awareness of how you are spending your time.

Happy de-cluttering!

Ingrid Pope


Today’s IORG Guest Post is from Ingrid Pope, Mind De-Clutterer and Executive Coach.  After a 16 year career in Corporate IT, Ingrid works with leaders and executives who operate in highly complex environments, who are overworked and are constantly juggling between getting the tasks done versus looking after their people. In the process they have lost the focus of what is important and needs attention – quite often themselves.

Ingrid’s mission is to de-clutter the world of everything that gets in the way of our effectiveness, our focus, and our life by creating space to think, to work, to live.  https://creatingspacecoaching.co.uk/


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