Declutter Your Mind

I’m going to talk about decluttering our mind this month because I want to reassure people that just because we may be a ‘certain age’, and we forget things, it does not mean we are heading towards dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. I’ve had clients and friends alike who have mentioned that they are becoming forgetful; and if there is a family history of dementia then this forgetfulness can take on a more frightening aspect. My darling mother had Alzheimer’s disease for about 13 years before she peacefully passed, so I have been up close and personal with this disease and it’s terrifying. However, I choose not to worry about it, I’d rather concentrate on today and keep my mind healthy and ‘clutter-free’.

I read an excellent article recently in the NZ Herald online on the topic of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and concern around forgetfulness: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/news/print.cfm?objectid=11429562

I love what the article says in one part: “It’s not necessarily forgetting where your keys are – in fact, I don’t know where my keys are right now – it’s forgetting what keys are for. Or not knowing what a key is for until you put it in your freezer.” It puts our concerns around forgetfulness into perspective.

What I’ve found is that our mind will select what we need to remember and discard unnecessary stuff… that works for me. In other words, don’t worry if you don’t remember every single thing that happens or that you read or hear, it’s probably not important enough to be bothered with. Now having said that, I actually don’t ‘try to remember’ anything – we all know those people who say ‘I keep everything in my head…’ Yikes, why would you? The more I don’t try to remember anything the more my memory works beautifully.

So here’s what I do to create flow:

– Above all, it’s important to relax and find ways to de-stress, especially at the end of the day when we need to wind down from our working day, and eventually get a good night’s sleep. That means switching your mind from whatever happened during the day to enjoying the ‘now moment’.

– Write down what you want to remember, keep scribble pads handy at home, in your car, and your workplace, so that when you get an idea or think of something you need to do – you can immediately take a note. And of course with the brilliant technology we now have, you may want to jot your notes down in your smartphone. Once you make a note of something you need to do, buy or organise, you are effectively letting your mind go free so you don’t have to worry about trying to ‘recapture’ that idea or thought later.

– Plan your day and week, diary actions you need to take and calls you need to make, then relax and know that you’ve got it handled!

I was discussing this newsletter with my friend Alissa the other day, and she has kindly contributed to this newsletter with her take on the subject:

“We all know how much time can be lost when looking for something we need. The same applies within our ever-growing computer and online presence. How many of your passwords can you remember off the top of your head? Are they noted down on scraps of paper that are easily lost, or maybe worse, easily found?

Now imagine you had that information stored all in one secure but easily accessed location.

Evernote (https://evernote.com/) is a cloud-based notes system, which completely changed my life and the way I operate. I have all of my information relating to my work and personal life organised within this notes system, meaning that I can input either short notes or large amounts of data, with the freedom to walk away knowing that information is secure but there for me when I come back. Evernote automatically saves and syncs as you go, so there is no fear of losing that document you’ve been writing for two hours. Best of all, I can access all of my notes through a desktop app, my iPhone, iPad and any browser. I have recently become self-employed, which has the potential to be quite overwhelming, but with Evernote I’m able to easily manage all of my records and information.

I have been using Evernote for about five years and immediately upgraded to premium because I realised I could use it for every aspect of my life. I have found it ideal for to-do lists, recipes, inspiration, tax records, instruction manuals, managing projects, goal setting, personal records, articles and loads more.

The way it works is very simple, as a collection of notes grouped into “notebooks”, with the ability to then group into a “stack” of notebooks. For example, a great use for Evernote is organising recipes. Insert your favourite chocolate cake recipe into a note, within a notebook called ‘baking’ and then within the notebook stack ‘recipes’. Think of it as being like a giant digital ringbinder. You can also then cross-reference your notes with ‘tags’, so for that chocolate cake recipe you may create your own tags ‘chocolate’, ‘cake’, ‘baking’, ‘grandma’, ‘gluten free’, ‘birthday’… and so on.

The security management is good too. There is one password to log in, and then within your notes you can encrypt selected text so that it can only be viewed with a special encryption password. That means much less work for my brain as I don’t have to remember so many passwords, I can simply view the encrypted text as needed.

Notes can be created directly in Evernote, emailed in, sent in from your smartphone, or captured from a web browser. Find out more from the website (https://evernote.com/).

Keep your desktop looking tidy and your documents organised with Evernote, and you won’t have to waste time looking for that important piece of information again.”

I think that sounds brilliant and after reading what Alissa has to say here, I’m going to take a look at Evernote. I love the fact that it sounds easy to create and easy to access.

Alissa is a Les Mills BodyBalance instructor, and works for Wonder Design as a freelance graphic designer. If you would like more information on data management, or her graphic design services, feel free to contact her at rednutwonder@gmail.com

I hope you’ve found this newsletter useful, and interesting. If you have a subject you would like me to write about in my newsletters I would love to hear from you. I wish you a month of joy and blessings.

In Joy!

Angella Gilbert

P: 09 410 4166
M: 027 224 8937
E: angella@gioia.net.nz
W: www.gioia.net.nz

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