In this InvENting 101, we’re going to help you with your spring cleaning.
We’re digging deep… deep inside the brain that is… to determine what YOU need to do to “declutter” your brain to be a better inventor and bring in that G8!
As a self-proclaimed (and personality-tested) Type A organizer by nature, I all but jumped at the chance to dive into this subject. You should see my desk…
What do I mean by “mind clutter”?
As organized as someone can be, it is easy to be a hoarder when it comes to your thoughts. Lucky for you, you don’t need to rent a trash bin to clean house. All you need to do is change your way of thinking… easier said than done right? Not if you take it one step at a time.
“We should start choosing our thoughts like we choose our clothes for the day”
A simple principle, but how to execute?
According to Ms. Brock, author of the blog Prolific Living, the first step to decluttering your mind is to look at basic physics. “No two physical objects can occupy the same space at the same time.”
There is a huge movement to organize our lives, just ask anyone at the Container Store. Even at Edison Nation, we see ideas almost daily on product concepts to help us find order, organization and simplification in everything from our refrigerators to our closets. Imagine what would happen if we looked at negative thoughts the same way.
No one actively chooses to embrace negative thoughts, we all want to have positive outlooks in all aspects of our lives, particularly when it comes to the process of inventing. But no matter how many quotes you pin, how many books you read, how many journals you keep, this method of “cleaning” your thoughts will not work as long as you hoard negativity.
If you are thinking, “I’m creative, I’m a problem solver, I’m going to be successful,” as much as you are thinking, “My ideas are bad, nothing is ever going to get licensed, here comes another red X,” you are repeating and reinforcing the good as much as the bad.
Since both good and bad thoughts cannot occupy the same space, the power of habit will likely side with the one it is used to nurturing: the negative thought. This is is because the negative thoughts are more familiar, and take a lot less effort to believe the familiar than to accept change and think positively.
Now that we’ve identified the problem, how do reprogram our thinking? Ms. Brock equates the process to moving out of your home…
- Get ready to move out of your castle. Imagine your mind lives in a giant castle filled with: thoughts, worries, anxieties, fears, memories, desires, questions, yearning and more. Now imagine you are going to move out of this giant castle and into a clean, open house in your favorite spot in the world.
- Choose carefully what you pack. In this move, you have to pack very light. You can only take with you what you plan to use. Ask yourself: Am I going to use the worries, the anxieties, the fears and the negative thoughts? What about the memories, the desire and the positive thoughts?
- Find a space for everything you brought as you move into your new place. Remember, everything has to occupy a space and no two things can occupy the same space at the same time so it would be best if you brought only what you truly need.
- Apply the rule to live clutter-free now. If you chose to leave behind the worries, anxieties, fears and negative thoughts, then you have decluttered your mind from the get-go – you rock! Unfortunately, not all of us can detach so quickly from our cozy familiar world even if it means packing a few negative thoughts, and that’s okay.
Just remember, no two things can occupy the same space in your mind at the same time. Consciously choose either a negative thought or a positive one for this day or this hour or this minute. Discard the other. For instance, you can either choose a peaceful memory or a big worry, fear or courage, acceptance or denial.
Here are some other ways to “declutter” your brain:
Declutter your physical environment. Physical clutter can lead to mental clutter. Clutter can bombard the mind with excessive stimuli, which force the brain to work overtime. It also signals to the brain that there’s always something else that needs to be done, which is mentally exhausting.
Write it down. Whether you are using an app, an online tool or an old-fashioned pen and paper, get things out of your brain and stored away elsewhere…This can include appointments, phone numbers or ideas (Edison Nation’s Sparks functionality is great for this!).
Keep a journal. A journal allows you to download the inner chatter that’s constantly interrupting your thought process when you’re trying to get important things done. A journal is a place to capture worries, plans, concerns, etc.
Let go of the past. Purge mistakes you’ve made, opportunities you missed, people you’ve hurt or those that have hurt you, past grievances and so on. If the memory isn’t benefiting you and your well being, get rid of it.
Stop multitasking. Pick a specific period of time and devote that time exclusively to one task. During that time, push all other mental clutter to the side and focus. Visualize a table that is clear of everything except for the task you are working on. During this time, if something unrelated finds it’s way onto your “table” – mentally push it off.
Limit the amount of information coming in. This can include information from newspapers, watching television, reading blogs and likely most importantly, social media. Set a limit on the amount of time you’re going to spend on social media. Unsubscribe from anything coming in, physically or digitally, that is not improving your overall quality of life.
Mental clutter leads to congestion in our inner world. It gets in the way of being able to think clearly and focus. Decluttering your mind can provide you more time to be creative and perhaps make way for your next “BING” moment which just could lead to a G8.
Have you ever thought, “wouldn’t it be cool if…”? We exist to get product ideas out of your head and onto retail shelves, all at no risk to you. Join Edison Nation for free!