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4 Simple Tips on How to Achieve Clutter-Free Living

4 Simple Tips on How to Achieve Clutter-Free Living


    Have you been feeling considerably stressed out, fatigued or inefficient lately?  Can’t find the exact reason why you are feeling this way?

    Try and look around you.

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    Do you see a lot of unnecessary things lying around your home, office, or your mind? Not a lot of people are aware of this, but clutter can be a significant source of stress. When we are surrounded by clutter, our minds are constantly bombarded with excessive stimuli — often visual but sometimes also tactile and olfactory. This makes it impossible for our mind to rest.

    Clutter can be a major stress inducer, but it is one of the easiest stress-inducing elements to deal with compared to other common sources of stress (like finances, relationships and career) because it is completely under your control. Although comparatively easy, still a lot of people hate the thought of decluttering, as an overwhelming amount of stuff can seem like an impossible task.  But fear not, it can be done. Let me share with you 4 simple tips on how to achieve clutter-free living:

    1. Learn to sort and classify

    This is the very first step in your decluttering journey. The simplest way to do this would be to group things in two:

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    1. Necessary/Wanted
    2. Unnecessary/Unwanted

    Go through your things and sort which ones are still useful or important to you. Sometimes we are afraid of putting things away because we feel that we might them in the future, but the general rule is if you haven’t used an item in a year then there is a good chance that you will not be using it again in the future.

    You can also go ahead and further classify things to three categories:

    1. Fix it
    2. Reuse/Donate
    3. Put away

    2. Set up a system

    This means that you will have to create rules to keep your life free from clutter. You can create filing systems or implement rules. For instance, in your home, you can designate specific places for specific items. And in your office, you can implement a “Clear Desk, Clear Floor” policy. Success with this step can be supported with the help of some equipment like filing cabinets, labeled boxes, racks, and shelves.

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    3. Tidy up all year round

    In order to sustain a clutter-free life, you need to declutter every day. Some organization experts suggest the use of a “declutter calendar”, which will guide you as to what and where you should be decluttering for a particular day of the year. It would also help if you set a specific time each day for this duty — a time which you are most likely able to fulfill. It can be right after coming home from work, after dinner, or before going to bed. It is not necessary to spend hours tidying up; 10-30 minutes each day can be enough. The more frequently you do it, the less time you will have to spend each time you do it.

    4. Involve others

    You will have a greater chance of succeeding if you involve other people in your plans. In your home you must share the need to declutter your space with the rest of your family, and in your office share the idea to your co-workers. You will need to have their full cooperation as you cannot keep these particular areas clutter-free if other people are constantly bringing in clutter.

    The very basic principle of decluttering is to keep things as simple as possible, free from the shackles of having too much.

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    (Photo credit: Comfortable and Serene Bedside via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on June 20, 2019

    Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

    Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

    There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

    More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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    Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

    You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

    During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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    Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

    Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

    The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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    This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

    Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

    The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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    This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

    This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

    Conclusion

    While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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    Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

    Reference

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