I’ve been thinking a lot about clutter lately. The Considering today project is, in part, born out of these thoughts. I felt the need to focus my thinking, and to practice doing so each day, and thus, the project was born.
You see, clutter isn’t just things overflowing on your desk, it’s in your mind, too. I’ve seen various coaches and know-it-alls describe clutter in a lot of ways, some more grounded than others. To me, clutter can be:
- physical things taking up your space;
- mental things, like intrusive thoughts or feelings;
- and digital things filling up your devices.
I’m sure you could add to this list, or perhaps break up the items. If you’re struggling with your faith, for example, you might want that on there. To me, it’s these three.
Clutter is a negative, it’s a bad thing.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that the things that might be perceived as clutter are bad things. Take the most obvious form of digital clutter for instance: Emails in your inbox. To some, this is a source of stress and failure. The emails are just sitting there, you haven’t had the time to deal with them, thus they’re cluttering your inbox, and your mind. Perhaps they even convey further clutter to you, stressful thoughts and the like, depending on what those emails might contain.
However, not all people feel this about emails sitting in the inbox. Some feel no stress seeing the unread badge on the Mail app passing the 50,000 mark. Inbox zero isn’t for everyone.
Emails in your inbox aren’t clutter. The way you perceive them, and attach to their existence, might make them, though.
What’s clutter for you might be inspirational to me.
Take my desk at the office. It sits beside my partner’s desk, which she keeps tidy and clean. I like a clean desk, but I limit “clean” to dust and dishes. My desk has, other than the necessary peripherals at a primarily digital agency and workstation, prints and tools, a couple of polaroids, pens and scribbled-on paper. It’s not a crazy mess, but to many, and certainly to my partner, it’s a cluttered desk.
To me, all those things aren’t clutter.
Clutter is what you make of it. I struggle less with digital clutter (delete and/or be done with it is easy for me) and physical clutter (if it bothers me, I’ll get rid of it), it’s the mental kind that’s challenging.
The thoughts that invade your mind. The feeling of guilt for something you might’ve done. The uncertainness you feel for your skills. The sense of failure for no reason. The imposter syndrome, the fears, the anxiety, the stress, the ego or lack thereof, the pressure, the whatever your gray matter decides to come up with today.
That’s mental clutter. It’s my most troublesome kind of clutter.
Dealing with clutter, no matter the type, isn’t done by taking actions. It’s a matter of removing the label, taking the power out of what a full inbox means to you, a messy desk, or nagging thoughts in the back of your mind. It’s hard, obviously – if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be clutter. Coming to the realization that the actual items that make up the clutter have less to do with the feeling of being cluttered, helps.
🤦🏻♂️ I'm not going to link anything related to OpenAI's fuckup with Sam Altman (who got fired by the board but is now back, and the board's on its way out instead). It just proves how immature the business is, which is scary in its own right.
💣 Nothing, the phone maker, reverse engineered iMessage to make Nothing Chat bubbles iPhone blue. It was a security nightmare and the app went down 24 hours later. Silly.
💰 Hey Unity and Unreal, take a look at GameMaker - this is how you do pricing.
🚜 The Guardian has a piece on the Swedish A-traktors, which are cars rebuilt so that they can be driven by teenagers. They're a menace and I hate them.
🕵️♀️ Come June next year, Google will limit extensions in its Chrome browser in an effort to limit adblockers. Don’t buy into their security or optimization bullshit, it’s about the money, and a good reason as any to switch to Safari or Firefox.
🪟 Windows as an app on your iPad? Yeah, strange days… It’s enterprise only for now, but that’ll surely change.
🐈 Fantastic story about Garfield phones on a beach in France.
😸 Nice piece on Tumblr, in the wake of Automattic winding it down.
🧑🏻⚖️ There are many high profile cases where artists and writers take AI companies to court in the US, but this case in Germany will potentially have a larger impact given how EU regulations work.
😱 Meta has reportedly broken up its Responsible AI team, in a stroke of being totally on brand.
🥸 Want to trade Disney characters? Yeah, it’s another NFT piece of trash in the making from the CryptoKitties people, and you should obviously avoid it, despite (or perhaps because of?) it being attached to Disney.
🐴 I wrote a couple of posts on the site this week as well: It took a week to downgrade Proton, I wish I could take over WP Tavern, and a reminder that Considering today season 1 is wrapping soon.
Got something I should read? Send it to me, either by replying to this letter, hitting up tdh.me on Bluesky, or any of the other means that appeal to you. Thanks!
📚 No reading this week either. It's weird, I'm in such a reading slump. Hopefully it'll end soon.
🎵 I can't seem to be able to get Blake Shelton's Body Language out of my head. It's such a catchy album!
📺 Yellowstone really is a good show. We’re at season 2 now.
🎮 I’ve been playing Super Mario Wonder with the little one. It’s a fun game, I might give it a go myself, at my pace rather than his, at some point.
It's been a good week. I've spent the weekend getting my Swedish site, TDH.se, ready for a relaunch. I'm looking forward to blogging in Swedish again.
Until the next one, take care.
— Thord D. Hedengren ⚡
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