It seems like a lot of people are moving these days. We’ve noticed that you really do a deep clean and declutter of your stuff when you move. When you’re packing your boxes, ask yourself questions like:
What do I really need?
Will I use this in the new house?
Does it fit?
When was the last time I used this? (Looking at you, cassette tapes.)
Why did I keep this around?
What do I do with all this stuff?
It got us thinking… Our brains can get cluttered too! We keep a lot of stuff in there we don’t need. And much like a house, you can move out the stuff that no longer serves you to make room for the stuff that does.
Our Brains on Data Storage
Our brains are data processing machines. Every second of every day, our brain is collecting, sorting, and categorizing data and deciding the best way to use it. The brain’s capacity is really immense (around 2.5 petabytes), but in order to keep up, it relies on patterns.
Our brains thrive on habits and patterns. They’re what keep us safe and alive. But this process isn’t perfect; our brains can hang on to data and patterns that no longer serve any purpose. For instance, your brain may still know how to untangle a cassette, which was excellent knowledge in the 1970s, but now it’s just taking up valuable space.
Thankfully, we have the ability to retrain our brains not to use the things that aren’t helpful. Instead, we can bring in new data for what we need now. We can consciously choose to refocus our brains on the data that’s pertinent to our current experiences, lifestyle, and environment.
It’s time to throw out the old and bring in the new. It’s time for a moving day for your brain—here’s how to do it.
3 Tips For Having a Successful Brain Moving Day
Here are our three go-to strategies for when you need to make space for new information.
Tip 1: Start With a Simple Inventory
Take inventory of the things that get in your way or are no longer helpful. In short, find the cassette tapes in your brain. Really be intentional with what sorts of thoughts are consuming too much space.
Maybe you’re spending a lot of time thinking about the news, summer childcare plans, that new sofa you’re saving for, the thing you did five years ago that really embarrassed you, your finances, etc. Ask yourself which of your reoccurring thoughts are helping you and which are getting in your way.
Be curious, and don’t be judgmental.
Tip 2: Choose Your Focus
The reality is that you can’t just get rid of the data—it’s here to stay. But you can decide what you focus on. [Mindfulness] is a great tool to help you choose your focus and “purge” what is no longer helpful in the present.
To keep things organized, start with just one focus area. Much like moving, if you try to pack the kitchen, the bathroom, and your bedroom simultaneously, you’ll be much less successful than if you just focused on one room at a time.
Tip 3: Decide If You Can Re-gift or Repurpose Your Data
When minimizing our stockpile of stuff, we often have things that mean something to us, and we just can’t part with them even though we don’t use the item. Our thoughts are the same way. So before you throw out your knowledge and thoughts, ask yourself if someone else can benefit from the information or if there’s a way for you to repurpose it.
For example, you might have done a lot of research on summer camps for your kids. You chose the summer camp, but now you still have that information swimming around up there. Rather than just forget about it, maybe you can share it with other parents in the area via social media.
Or let’s say you taught yourself Excel for your old job, but your new job doesn’t require that knowledge. Perhaps there’s a way for you to use Excel differently. Maybe you can use it for your personal finances, planning, or in your new role somehow. Or, much like the summer camps, you can share that Excel knowledge with others who need it before focusing your mind elsewhere.
Optimizing Your Brain Space
Your brain is like the home for your thoughts, and like a regular home, you need to clean it up and redecorate from time to time. With some focus and intention, you can retrain your brain to stop focusing on the data you don’t need and make room for the knowledge you do.
If you’d like help optimizing your thought process, contact us today. Or, if you’re a woman struggling to balance all your responsibilities and desires, join our In Her Element Program to help you ignite your potential.