An interesting word, no? Each of us has clutter – mental clutter and physical clutter…. It is an energy-drainer, and it may be messing with your fitness goals.

Physical clutter is the kind found in your car, your office, your kitchen, your bathroom, your closet, your garage. It can be unorganized, unkempt, or it can be organized and arranged: but it is stuff and there’s probably too much of it.

If you have to move it, step over it, dust it, then you have clutter. It takes up space that could be used for other things or space that could simply be emptied and left open. I’ve always been a big proponent of getting rid of junk in the house, garage and car – it helps me focus on more important things . Shoot me, I’m anal retentive.

A clear, focused mind needs a clear, focused environment. When you are living surrounded by clutter, it nags on you and stifles progression and creativity. It always demands to be dealt with, and that can drain the hell out of you.

Mental clutter is clutter in your patterns of thinking, reacting to yourself, others and everyday circumstances. This kind of clutter flies under the radar, which can make it worse than physical clutter.

Mental clutter can be self-defeating ways of thinking about yourself, patterns of behavior with certain people, habitual ways of reacting to certain situations or just a general approach to life that blindly runs on auto-pilot. (I’ve got A LOT of this kind of clutter)

So how do you clear out clutter that you can’t see? Whether it is physical clutter on your bookcase or the mental clutter of responding the same way to that person who always manages to raise your blood pressure, you can get to work on it immediately.

Physical clutter:

Assess one room or your car and ask yourself – What is this? Why do I have it? What is its function? Does it enrich my life Is it trash? After I’ve gone, will someone else have to come in and get rid of it? Try to eliminate as much as you can.

And think really hard before acquiring more stuff. And try to remove something from your environment each time you bring something additional in. Out with the old and in with the new. And ladies that goes for clothing 🙂

Mental clutter:

Slow down. In order to identify your mental clutter, you must slow down and really pay attention.

Ask yourself this question several times a day: “Do I have other options?” Whether it is when that ‘someone’ is beginning to push your buttons or whether you are rushing to get to work again, just stop for a moment and try to come up with one or two other scenarios.

Set a reminder several times a day to remind yourself to stop and take note of what you are doing when the reminder sounds. Are you eating? Checking Facebook for the 12th time? Having the same dead-end conversation with someone?

Take a look at your routines: bedtime, morning, lunch, late afternoon, etc. What are your habits? Are they productive? Destructive? Time wasters?

What are you procrastinating? Leaving a dreaded task undone is a sure road to low energy and low productivity. Make a list of those tasks which you have been putting off and just do them. You’ll be amazed at your energy level afterwards!