How is your environment? How is your mind? Messy? Clutter-free? Chances are, if you experience lots of procrastination or often feel overwhelmed, it could be due to a cluttered space.
Having less clutter creates more productivity.
It makes it hard to concentrate: So why is it that clutter causes you to be less productive? Research shows, “[i]f attention was redirected to the periphery when a perceptual group was present, attention would be withdrawn from the demanding fixation task at the same time, resulting in a decrease in behavioral performance.” In other words, clutter can be distracting. With too many items around scattered everywhere, it makes it difficult to focus on the task at hand.
Your time is misplaced: We spend quite a bit of time in our work environment. Studies have shown that some of that time is spent searching for items that are lost in the clutter. Further proving that having less clutter creates more productivity. Spending less time on “where did I put the…” allows you more time to be productive.
You over-focus on things: When your mind is cluttered, you tend to worry about things out of your control, mismanage your time, and focus on the negative. When you declutter your mind, you create an environment of productivity. So how do you get started to declutter your workspace and your mind? Here are some tips to help you get started.
Ways to declutter your mind
Before you get in the mood to physically declutter, start with a mental declutter.
Write it down: Clear your thoughts by getting them onto paper and out your head. You can down write any number of things: your to-do list, goals, roadblocks, intentions, and so on. Set aside some time in the day to write down your thoughts so you can get recentered. By doing this you’re creating more space to concentrate on the task at hand and organize.
Change environment: Feeling sluggish throughout the day? Get moving! Go for a walk or take a nap. Whatever you do, take a break to restart your mental space to get rid of unhealthy thoughts and fixations.
Ways to declutter your workspace
Now that your mind is in the right place, time to work on your environment.
Organize in stages: Decluttering your entire area in one sitting can quickly become overwhelming. So break it up over a few days (or weeks) to make it more manageable. Maybe coming in earlier to organize can help, or try a power hour where you focus solely on organizing your desk. Either way, take your decluttering one step at a time to avoid getting burnt out.
Digitalize your work: Maybe there’s a bunch of important papers sitting on your desk. Picking them up and putting them in a separate pile in another area still has them in your space. Get rid of all those papers and start saving some trees! Scan the important documents on to your computer or a USB drive to clear up physical space in your work environment. (And don’t forget to shred anything that has your personal information on it!)
Decluttering your mind and environment allows you more time to spend toward productivity. So cheers to getting on track with decluttering all areas of your life!