I came across a fabulous idea recently while reading How to Get Your Mojo Back by Dr Ginni Mansberg (New Holland Publishers, $29.95). In her book, Ginni refers to recent research findings that show we upload about 34 gigabytes and 100,000 words of information each day, up 350 per cent over 30 years, and continuing to grow over time.
She asserts that because our minds almost constantly absorb information, it’s important we regularly reverse the trend and allow ourselves to download, sort, and organise all this material. Ginni recommends a regular routine so our brains don’t overload and dump the information at inconvenient or inappropriate moments (such as in the middle of the night).
You might find that you naturally download in certain situations, such as drinking a cup of tea, taking a shower, or writing in a journal. Ginni also suggests taking ‘microbreaks’, meditating, running, or keeping a pen and paper by the bed. I like to carry a little notepad so I can write down random things to remember until I have time to sort them into my system—usually in the evenings.
My brain sifts information best when I go for a walk or run. Often, the ideas and insights come so quickly that they frustrate me. In the past, I would try to hold these gems in my head until I got home and could write them down. I often rushed through the door with fingers held aloft, signifying the number of ideas I was trying to keep track of! Instead, I’m learning how to release my thoughts, trusting they will return if they are valuable enough.
Sometimes it’s important to let our download happen without turning it into another form of striving or upload. We become accustomed to accumulating and holding on tight—whether it's possessions, relationships, or thoughts. Practice mentally releasing both the good as well as the bad to make room for life to flow.
Like our physical environment, our mental space also benefits from consistent decluttering, processing, and releasing. It keeps us fresh and alert, and gifts us with the space and energy to live in the present.
What are your favourite ways to download your busy mind?