How is your clutter linked to your working memory?

RIGHT NOW I’M HAVING AMNESIA AND DEJA VU AT THE SAME TIME. I THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN THIS BEFORE.

Steven Wright

Have you noticed that some people possess great talents yet surprisingly do not reach their potential?

Do you know people of average or below average intelligence who have gone very far in life? Are you puzzled by this?

In your life have you tried harder than your peers at school/college and beyond, and you have still had disappointing results in relation to your efforts?

You are about to understand something very important that will help solve these mysteries.

YOUR EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS

You were born with all the skills necessary to reach your own version of success. These skills are located in your brain, in the prefrontal cortex, directly behind your forehead. They are called your executive functions. If you have ADHD you will have impaired executive function performance. This is the core of your ADHD challenge.  They play a vital role in your life success, and in your ability to part with your clutter and get organised.

Working memory is just one of the 11 executive functions. Working memory is the part of your thinking process where you keep track of the information you need right now. It is like your mental notepad. It is the ability to hold information in your mind, and manipulate it in order to complete complex tasks such as reasoning, learning and comprehension, even amidst distractions.

The level of your working memory has a direct impact on all your executive functions. This impacts your ability to declutter and get organised.

If you have a good working memory you feel grounded in your life. You know where you are heading. You can carry out a conversation even when there is lots of noise and distractions going on. If you can remember multi-step directions without having to write them down, then you have excellent working memory skills.

If you forget mid-conversation what you were going to say, forget where you put your keys, or forget what you were going to do next, rest assured that you are not losing your mind. You simply have a poor working memory, and you are observing it in action.

You might be learning a new topic, or taking instructions from your boss, and it all makes sense at the time. Then later in the day, you can’t remember any of it. Do you suffer from that dizzy, floating feeling? These challenges are simply your impaired working memory in action. This can really hold you back in life.

Your working memory deficit may be affecting you more than you realise:

  • You may misplace items frequently, and spend a large part of your day searching for those things. Your working memory deficit may be at fault.
  • You may often get disorientated, and feel like you don’t know where you’re up to in your day. Your working memory deficit may be the culprit here.
  • You may experience working memory deficit as a fuzzy, floating feeling, and as having a sensation   that you are spinning around whilst standing still.
  • You may feel high levels of anxiety, which may be directly related to your working memory deficit.
  • You may find yourself easily distracted, struggling to get back on task, and struggling to remember where you left off. This likely increases your feelings of anxiety.

You are not lazy or incompetent: you just have a working memory deficit.

WORKING MEMORY AND DECISION MAKING

Working memory deficit impacts your decision-making skills, another executive function trait, and a common decluttering stumbling block. Every piece of clutter must be decided by you. Every decision you need to make puts a tremendous strain on your working memory. With the right tools you can become better at decision-making.

When you have finally decided to part with an item of clutter, are you plagued with self-doubt? You may have forgotten the reasons that led you to make your decision, whether personal or work related. This leads to obsessive torment and self-doubt.

When faced with your clutter you will probably not remember what the reasons were for purchasing those items. You know the item is useful, but you can’t remember what it is useful for. This self-doubt will sabotage your best efforts at decluttering. When you finally part with your clutter, you will forget your reasoning that led you to part with the item. You will repeatedly torment yourself and agonise some more, driving yourself and your family members insane…

Your working memory is to blame when you forget in mid-sentence what you were going to say.

HOW TO MANAGE WORKING MEMORY DEFICIT

There is no cure for working memory deficit. Manage your working memory deficit by limiting visual distractions in your environment, in other words, declutter and organise! Only keep the items in your home that serve you right now. Every item must have a home. When you have an organising system that is tailored to your brain wiring you will feel grounded, focused, and probably less anxious. 

Your brain needs daily routines. When you need to remember what to do next hundreds of times a day, this taxes your thinking (working memory) space, and causes huge stress and anxiety. Automate your actions, and you will free up precious head space for other more important activities.

If you have a working memory deficit, this will have a huge impact on your focus and inner grounding. You will be living from one self-made crisis to the next. When you live in this way for many years, it naturally follows that anxiety sets in.

Therapy won’t fix your working memory deficit. You need to learn skills tailored to support your working memory deficit.  Therapy may be necessary to repair the emotional damage that has happened, as a result of your unsupported working memory deficit tripping you up in your life for too many years.

I LIKE WHAT I HAVE READ – WHAT DO I DO NOW?

You want a career in professional organising? Find out how you can train with ease to become a professional organiser in only 12 weeks! Click here.

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