Clutter & How it Affects Your Brain
A few years ago, I worked at a web design agency as a product manager. The part of the job I loved the most was working on product with our design team and clients. Unfortunately, this was only about 10 percent of the work that I actually got to do. The majority of the time, I was trying to control the constant flow of stuff. Keeping track of meeting notes, searching for files, and trying to stay up-to-date with the latest technology news.
Furthermore I was mentally exhausted. I’d get home feeling that I hadn’t really accomplished anything. Once I left the agency and started ooomf, I wanted to fix how I approached consumption in my life. Over the last few years, I’ve discovered ways to reduce the noise of stuff around me so I can focus on creation. And have more time for the things that matter most. The last year has been the most productive of my life. And I owe a lot of it to understanding the importance of decreasing how much I consume and coming up with ways to cut clutter.
How Clutter Happens
You collect things for a number of reasons–maybe you think you’ll need to use it later, it has sentimental value, or you spent good money on it so you feel you need to keep the item. Even if you haven’t touched or used it in weeks,months, or years. You might be holding on to that book you bought a year ago that you swear you’ll read. Or those killer pair of shoes that you’ll bring out for just the right occasion.
Consequently, the reality is, you probably made a mistake in buying those things. In fact it literally hurts your brain to come to terms with that fact. Researchers at Yale recently identified that two areas in your brain associated with pain. The anterior cingulate cortex and insula, light up in response to letting go of items you own and feel a connection towards:
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