“A confused mind does nothing.” “Less is more.” “When life isn’t adding up, start subtracting.” All great advice for when you feel too much is coming at you from every direction; yet, where do you begin to quiet the chaos? Inboxes that never get emptied, telemarketers calling from your own area code, and mail that should get tossed immediately, yet somehow lingers on the counter, can compound the “white noise” that’s cluttering our digital and material lives. Let’s look at six places that you’re receiving information and focus on how to lessen what’s coming at you.

  • When sorting mail, it’s simple to pull out the magazines and bills, yet you’re still left with letters for life insurance, credit card offers and organizations requesting donations. Directmail.com is the place to register your address to stop the mailings you no longer wish to receive. Your new best friend.
  • Phone 1. The FCC has issued a statement on its website, “It is unlawful for any person to make any call using any automatic telephone dialing system or any artificial or prerecorded voice message to wireless numbers.” Yet somehow we’re still getting calls and they’re coming from our own area codes making it look like a local call. The National Do No Call registry gives you the opportunity to stop unwanted telemarketing calls. Go to donotcall.gov or call 888.382.1222.
  • Phone 2. Our phones aren’t just for making calls, they’re also our computers. Delete old contacts and unused apps. This can be done in those pockets of time when sitting in carpool or while waiting at the doctor. Clean up pictures. My daughter does this every night with the pictures she took or saved that day by deleting or putting them in folders.
  • Your inbox is open 24/7/365. Email is still the No. 1 tool for business communication, yet it is sharing space with newsletters, sales and recipes. Unroll.me is the source to unsubscribe to lists you want to be removed from.
  • Social Media. Unfriend, unfollow. Streamline who and what you’re allowing in your brain.
  • Are 150 channels even needed? Streamline your options. Cancel packages you aren’t using/watching. Fewer options mean fewer decisions—which frees up brain space.

There are some things in life we can’t control like the weather and calorie count on menus. Focus on what you can control. The noise around us will continue to get louder with advances in technology. Five years ago, we didn’t have Alexa and today she’s sitting at our kitchen table. You invited her in and you can show her to the door, too. It’s that simple.