Eliminate Technological Brain Clutter

I’m on a journey to eliminate brain clutter, as I shared yesterday. Brain clutter comes in many forms. One of the biggest challenges to a clear brain in the 21st century is technological “clutter.”

Researches have raised concern that constant media input may shorten attention spans and may rewire the brain. Eliminating technological brain clutter is vital (and so difficult!)

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21 ways to de-clutter the brain, continued:

(Read part 1 of 21 Ways to Clear out the Brain Clutter)

  1. Stop checking Facebook, Twitter or email constantly! Smart phones serve a great purpose, but checking email when you should be doing laundry simply clutters the brain. As several dear friends encourage, put the phone down and concentrate!
  2. If it will take less than two minutes, answer emails immediately. Reading the email once and answering it right away, leaves your brain clear to move on to the next task. The same rules applies to comments, articles, etc.
  3. Set aside time each week (or day or month) to answer the emails that require a longer reply.
  4. Keep an empty inbox. I learned this trick from Blogging with Amy and it has revolutionized my mentality towards email! Emails no longer overwhelm me. [Check out her step by step instructions for how to have an empty inbox in Gmail while still keeping all your messages safely archived. Plus, learn how to install a cool “send and archive” feature.]
  5. Limit phone calls. Set aside times to make long calls to friends or family. Don’t just pick up the phone to chat when you have other things you should be doing.
  6. But, if you have an item that needs to be taken care of (and it will only take two minutes) make that call! Stop procrastinating.
  7. Think before you turn to the internet. The internet teams with ideas and advice. Sometimes though, I tend to mindlessly turn to the internet rather than thinking about the problem and possible remedies first. Don’t get me wrong. I love the internet, but it can’t replace your brain!
  8. Embrace times of “technological quiet.” It’s the 21st century and we are bombarded with “noise”  on every side all day long. Set aside time to turn off the computer, cell phones, music or tv.
…to be continued next week.
What about you? How do you navigate technology without cluttering your brain? 


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  1. Kasey says

    My inbox has nearly 300 messages right now. I am horrible of managing it and I hate to think of all the people who may have sent me a note that got buried in it. 🙁 I am working on a schedule that frees me to use the computer for the things that I do on here, that doesn’t take away from my time with God or my family. You are exactly right, we overuse this wonderful resource!

  2. says

    This list is amazing and so practical. It’s all things that won’t take forever but will make a big impact. I can’t wait to incorporate them into my daily life.

  3. says

    Great ideas. That is one reason I don’t have fb and I don’t tweet. (Besides the fact that I’m not a bird. 🙂 ) It is the little bit longer things I tend to put off. Like sending an e-mail that might take five minutes instead of two. 🙂
    Looking forward to reading more about this next week.

    • anna says

      I’m so torn over FB. I love getting to see glimpses into friends’ lives, but it can be a time-waster if not used properly. Oh, and I’m thinking about getting a page for the blog, so that would be a whole new area to limit! 😉

  4. Mara Wildflower says

    I don’t receive many emails, yet when I do, it takes me about a month to respond to them, ugh! 🙁

    I’m enjoying reading about how to eliminate technological clutter. I can use all the help I can get in this department.

    -M. Wildflower

    • anna says

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! I’ve got a lot to learn still, but the things I have started implementing have made such a difference for me.

      Oh, and part of the reason why I am learning I *have* to answer an email immediately is otherwise, it will probably be at least a week (maybe a month) before I do.

      • says

        Piggybacking onto this comment here, but that is definitely why I need to answer my emails right away too! Otherwise, I mark them as unread and then a month later I find it, still unanswered! 🙂 Same goes for when people comment on my blog posts. When I have time to check and approve them, I comment back asap (most of the time). Thanks for all the helpful tips, Anna 🙂

        • anna says

          I’m glad I’m not the only one that does that! Once moved to an “empty inbox” it helped, because if it’s there, it still needs to be taken care of… but I still procrastinate if I don’t answer right away!

  5. Jenni / Life from the Roof says

    This is a great series. I was thinking about just this thing a few weeks ago. Have you had a chance to read “The Shallows” by Nicholas Carr? It’s an extension of a piece he did for the Atlantic entitled, “Is Google making us Stoopid?” You can find the article online. The book I checked out at the library – really good stuff.

    • anna says

      No, I’ve never read either of those! They sound intriguing. Thanks for the recommendations… and for stopping by!

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