11 Master Your Mind by Mastering Your Environment: Declutter

There’s no such thing as multitasking, there’s just a willingness to suck at more than one thing at the same time.

—Robb Zbierski, un-sucker of things

Likely the most intuitive of the “counterintuitive” strategies we are sharing, the idea of decluttering is essential to mastering your mind. After all, what’s easier to manage, a handful of things or dozens of things all at the same time?

It’s funny, when we were out doing the market research for this book, whenever the topic of “decluttering” came up as a theme of the book, that was the one phrase that always got an “Oh, gosh, do I need that!” Or “Man, do my direct reports need to learn about that!” from whomever we were talking with.

So it begs the question, why do we constantly need a reminder to get rid of what we don’t need? If it isn’t essential to our success/progress/livelihood, why do we insist on hoarding everything we can until it totally consumes us? I think it has to do with that whole caveman mentality we discussed in Chapter 1. Caveman mentality (“What’s coming to get me? How do I fight it off?”) plus YOLO (you only live once) plus FOMO (fear of missing out) leads us to grab everything we can and hold onto it “just in case.” And in our rapid-pace world, we grab on to every little bite-sized thing we can. Tweets, articles, updates, tips, tricks, books, pamphlets, thoughts, quotes, ideas . . . you get the picture. And then without a proper clearing out, ...

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