Allow that question to occupy some space in your thoughts even for just a moment . . . How cluttered is your mind? Pause . . . breathe . . . Great Job! Now, let's talk. If we would really reflect on this, I believe most would conclude that it is CLUTTERED. Think about how many times we may have said something like, "My head is full!" "My brain is on overload!" or multiple variations of that concept. And, justifiably so when we consider the noise that we are faced with every day. Some we choose, like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube that have crept in to add clutter, and then there are the real challenges of balancing demands on our time, emails, our active imaginations, etc. You can create your own list of things but it's easy to conclude that the noise can be deafening!
Perhaps a better question would be: "How organized do we want our thoughts to be?" That question alone will start the uncluttering process. Consider applying a little 5S to really begin the process of organizing your thoughts.
SORT: "When in doubt, throw it out!" The same is true for our thoughts as the things to get rid of in a closet or workspace. We become attached to them, comfortable with them and, without a deliberate effort, we will keep the worthless or negative or distracting thoughts around to clutter our thinking another day.
SHINE: Consider what works for you to cleanse your mind. It could be reading a good book, going outside, great exercise, walking the dog, or hanging out with friends and family that clears your mind so the right thoughts can reside there.
SET IN ORDER: When we are organizing our thoughts, it helps to take inventory first thing in the morning and identify where the productive, positive thoughts are located that we will want to access throughout the day. When you set your thoughts in order, you will be in control of your day!
STANDARDIZE: If what we are organizing is our thoughts and what occupies our mind, then doesn't the process of standardizing look a lot like setting goals? A goal is how we want things to look in the future, and when we set goals, they inspire good thoughts and remind us of why they are important.
SUSTAIN: As we keep our minds uncluttered and filled with the right thoughts, it is important to celebrate our little successes and wins along the way. If the goal was to lose 20 pounds and you are protecting every thought and taking every important step toward reaching that goal, then celebrate the one pound that was shed this week.
After reviewing the 5S process and how it can help to unclutter our lives and our minds, I ask the question again for all of us to consider . . . "How organized do we want our thoughts to be?"