While the human brain is far more complex than any computer, there are some similarities between the two.
- Computers have a “sleep” function. So does the brain.
- Computers can do lots of different tasks at once, many of which I am not aware of. So can the brain.
- Computers can receive new information, remember old information, or synthesize input to share with others.
- Computers can be afflicted with viruses and worms and bots. Ever been hit with a mental “insecurity virus” or an “unforgiveness bot” or a “worm of fear”?
Computers, like our brains, tend to file things at random. Its the way most of us manage our kitchen counters, desks, closets, drawers, or if you are a teenager, your entire bedroom. Eventually we end up with lots of bits and pieces in piles that don’t relate to each other in any way. This bogs down our operating system, because now the hard drive has to sift through all those piles of stuff to find what it needs before it can respond to our commands.
I think my soul (mind, will, and emotions) needs to be defragged from time to time. Lots of transitions, changes, events, activities, busyness, and so forth create a jumble in my head, slowing me down and hindering me from moving forward.
Since God didn’t equip me with a nifty drop-down menu or convenient button, how do we go about defragmenting our overcrowded minds?
1. Examine those “piles” of mental and emotional clutter. You can do this through journaling, prayer, meditation, or some other method of rummaging through your mind’s hard drive.
- What do you keep tripping over in your thought life that you’d like to put away in its proper place?
- What out-of-date or expired thoughts and feelings need to go to the trash?
- What ideas need to be organized for future application?
2. Decide what to do with each item before you “put it aside.” In other words, if you stumble across something particularly messy in your head, don’t just ignore it (that’s how you ended up with this mess). Deal with it now.
- If it requires a response, respond. Unfinished business is a primary cause of fragmentation!
- If it needs to be archived, do something tangible to remove that thing from the forefront of your mind.
3. Create the necessary space for future input. This is the beauty of mental defragmentation, as opposed to the computer… you can create whatever you require in your head to organize and situation things.
- Added a new role? Create a new mental “file” for that role or responsibility.
- Left something behind? Put it in the archives. If you need to access that information later, you’ll know where it is, and in the meantime, it won’t be clogging up your present-day interactions!