September 13, 2021

Clutter Is Unmade Decisions

If you have clutter it's because of unmade decisions. The more you have a habit of not making a decision the more clutter you will have.

If you have clutter it's because of unmade decisions.

The more you have a habit of not making a decision the more clutter you will have.

watch a 1-minute snippet -->

I did already a Youtube Live with Energy Breakthrough Coach Linda Binns about "What is clutter? It might not be what you think" on how clutter is created by unmade decisions.

Check out the full 26 minutes here if you want to hear more about the energetic effects around clutter and unmade decisions, 

Let's take a step back and look at it a bit closer:

  • If you have a lot of things, physical clutter, in your home and or office, it is because you haven't made a decision to let those things go even though you are not using them, they are just taking up space
  • I you having a full hard disk on your computer, it's most likely because you have a lot of files, which is digital clutter, My experience is that most people have no idea what a lot of those files are but it seems easier to just buy a computer with a bigger hard drive or to buy an external hard drive to store these files than to go through them and make decisions of what is important and needs to be kept and what can be deleted.
  • The same happens with your phone, the photos, apps, text messages etc on it, or unlistened podcast episodes, it's all digital clutter and the more you don't make a decision what to keep and what to delete the more it's filling your phone to the point where the phone doesn't work right anymore.  
  • And your finances could be cluttered because of unmade decisions too, Maybe you are paying for subscriptions that you don't really use but haven't made the decision to cancel,  maybe even because you don't remember that you are paying for it, most people I know don't really look at their credit card bill in detail and pay for stuff they don't use or don't use stuff because they don't remember they are paying for it.

I could go on but I think you get the idea.

This is all clutter, physical, digital, and financial clutter that stems from mental clutter, not making a decision, which often leads to emotional clutter in form of suppressed feelings, stress, overwhelm, anxiety, all because we are not willing to make a decision.

The longer we wait with making a decision the bigger the pressure gets and the more unmade decisions are piling up in front of us, that's also where overwhelm is coming from.

Not making a decision is also a decision

Now not making a decision is by the way also making a decision, it's the decision to not deal with this right now, to leave it for another day, we just push it all into the future to some undefined better time when we think we will be more equipped to dealing with it.

But for most of us that 'better' time never comes but instead what does happen is some sort of emergency, where something or someone from the outside forces you to make a decision, often at the most inconvenient time or form and the pressure becomes almost unbearable.

As I talked about in episode 87 called The motivational triad, this not wanting to make decisions happens because our brain wants to: seek pleasure, avoid pain, and be efficient. It doesn't think of you in the future, it only thinks of right now. Making a decision right now is the opposite of pleasurable, it is painful and needs a lot of energy which is not efficient, that's why it's so easy to procrastinate on all these things. (go listen to that episode, or read the blog post, after this one if you haven't yet)

What our brain doesn't realize is, all these unmade decisions also cost a lot of energy, actually often more energy than making a decision would cost. They are pushing us down and making us feel heavy, it feels like a big bolder to push through the day, because soon enough you come across something that you would need to make a decision on but you can't because something else you haven't decided yet and until you have decided that you can't really decide this, and so you put that to the side too and so the pile or bolder gets bigger and heavier and uses up so much energy

It has become a habit

Not making a decision can become an automatic habit and the more it becomes automatic the harder it will be to break. But this habit is not serving you, so you want to break it and replace it with making decisions in time. 

The reason why we are not making the decision could be because we get anxious about the consequences, let's take for example a physical item that you don't love and use anymore, you might start thinking "what if I need this in the future? What if I regret giving this away or throwing it away?" Because you feel anxious and like a lot of us don't know how to deal with such challenging emotion we'd rather do nothing.

In addition most of us haven't learned how to make decisions nor have we learned how to have our own back after making the decision. So we decide it's too hard and we just keep the stuff. That's how clutter accumulates and starts filling your home, starts taking up a lot of space in your  but also in your mind and in your emotions.

We can have a mountain of unmade decisions in all possible areas of our life. The easiest clutter to spot is all the physical stuff that is just taking up space in your home, and is pulling energetically on you but the invisible clutter that it creates is just as challenging. 

Think back when you needed to make a decision

I am sure you too had a situation once where you needed to make big and important decision and you were unsure how to decide. Think back how much time, energy and mental bandwidth this unmade decision was using on a daily basis, how it was always if not at the forefront then at least lurking in the background zapping the joy and focus out of you. When you finally made the decision, maybe because you were forced from the outside by a deadline, you felt sooo much better and relieved afterward, a weigh has lifted off of us and freed up so much energy and mental space again.

Then, what often happens too is that we look back and can't believe what we did to ourselves, why we didn't make that decision earlier, why we put ourselves through this agony.  

The longer you don't start making decisions and start dealing with these things the deeper you dig that hole and the bigger the problem becomes to deal with.

A few minutes a day...

I suggest you start with small but consistent steps to build your decision making muscle and in doing so your decluttering muscle.

If you follow my 3 principles from Episode 4 that means you would start with

  1. small manageable chunks --> in terms of decision making that means, start making decisions on small things that don't have huge consequences if you are worried to make a wrong decision
  2. start with the least personal area --> again, start with making decisions in areas that don't matter to you that much
  3. get into the habit of making decisions every day, get into the habit of not postponing decisions, especially the ones that fall into point 1 and 2 that are considered small and not too personal decisions. 

Ok my friends, that is it for this week. Thanks for reading all the way to the end,

If you find value in what I am talking about, please share it with a friend or family member, because if you find value in it, they will too ❤️

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