So drawing on from this series last week, I spoke a little about the science behind an organised mind. The next section is really all about making your life easier, minimising, and compartmentalizing. Here are a few more tips that will help to achieve a clear headspace to leave room for ideas, creativity, and focus!
Minimalise – Everything
Get a bin bag, and do this when you are in a brutal mood. I mean brutal. I had come back from my trip to America, with a suitcase full of clothes to wash, and a room filled with clothes, bursting out of my wardrobe, I mean everywhere, it was actually both stressful and therapeutic to sort out. I was in a brutal mood, which meant I was more cut-throat about my hoarding habits, more than usual. I was ready to either recycle my things, give them away to a shelter, my siblings, and sell the rest. I wanted to create a capsule wardrobe, a group of my favourite clothes, that could be worn in rotation, by mixing, and matching outfits. I didn’t want 10 coats, I felt wasteful, and my mind felt tangled. I wanted to give it all away. My thoughts became even more brutal, If something happened to my house, and I had time to take just three items to survive I would lose all of this anyway, it got deeper – in the grave, I won’t be taking any of this. It was an eye opener, I was hoarding what I can only call valuable junk, junk because the things I was hoarding weren’t necessary and may not have served any other purpose than vanity.
CLEAR it all. Be brave and brutal. Let this transfer to other areas of your life, books, leave them outside of your house, in a neat pile labeled, “read me” a great way to circulate literature and propagate the spreading of knowledge and creativity.
Monitor how much you take with you when you go out. How is it that a lot of men don’t need to carry a bag, often they ensure they have the valuables: wallet, keys, and phone. My theory is this, the bigger the bag, the more you’re going to want to test how much you can fill it with. Money, Oyster, phone, keys, mini Quran, items that have a purpose, anything else is just weighing you down. If we practice the prophet Muhammad’s (saw) Sunnah, the number of possessions he owned was so little, that he was able to name each one. He re-mended his shoes, and clothes, to ensure he didn’t continue consuming.
Document It All
So you have your tidy space now, great, you need to start planning from the macro to the micro. You have your handmade planner, year to year, month to month. Oversee that month. Have a small handy year diary, one you like the look of, you will slip this into your bag wherever you go.
This will be your best friend, it will be taken out and used like a map to help you navigate through your day and week, whenever, and I mean, WHENEVER there is a slight change or update in your week, pen it in, the date and time and maybe little notes explaining it.
If you are anything like me, I participate in a few projects, so having to keep up to date with them all, whilst ensuring I am doing well and remaining on top of my main work can be challenging. Writing everything down ideally in a bullet journal has been an effective tool for many, but in all honesty, the concept behind those can be overwhelming as there is a science to it. If it starts to feel overwhelming this is counterproductive you need a pen, paper, and the date written or printed in your notebook. That is all you need. Sorted. Just to reiterate writing things down can help you in many ways in the future, if you need to reference a time or place, seeing a date or something penned in your diary can trigger a memory.
There are so many creative and innovative life planners you can find in Paperchase (my fav store) however, the prices are a little high, depending on if you feel it is important enough to invest in, however, your purse and savings will thank you later. Personally, there is something lovely about creating and moulding your own life plan, with colour pencils and calligraphy pens, include every single area. Your brain is exposed to too many thoughts, images, conversations, videos, credit card bills, letters, and general information at an incredibly high speed, daily, particularly if you are living in a big city. Having sections in your life planner will help you to compartmentalize the stress and hopefully reduce it. Try including:
Time to put it all into practice… until next week!
Hanan has a Masters in Media in the Middle East from SOAS University. Trainee of the Muslim Women in Media institute Annual Cohort at UC Davis, California. Her interests lie in ethical fashion, modern-day slavery, and when not making Youtube videos she is somewhere in between Ballet and Kickboxing. King Julian is her spirit animal.