It’s safe to say that a life of clutter is an overwhelming one. Whether your office desk is overflowing or your home is in disarray, the cluttered chaos could be hindering you and your productivity. As a result, one’s quality of life suffers. The “productivity” we speak of can apply to both work and lifestyle, so decluttering your home and your workspace can greatly improve how you live from morning to night.
When things pile up–literally and figuratively–stress levels increase. Not only does desk clutter make it difficult to locate items when they’re needed, but it can also give off an unprofessional air. If a supervisor asks for a document that is misplaced among the chaos, this could be detrimental to a project or presentation, and maybe even one’s job. Properly labeling and filing items in an organized, user-friendly way can cut down the accumulated 20 minutes a day looking for misplaced (or lost forever) items.
Our environment has a significant impact on our mental health. Otherwise, why would most employees decorate their workspaces with items they enjoy? Family photos, stylish decor, movie posters; we find peace and comfort in these well-placed and intentional pieces. This is positive stimuli, while clutter is negative. When negative stimuli bombards our thoughts excessively, our senses are overworked, making it difficult to relax physically and mentally. Eliminate that “bottomless” pile, and you’ll see each task separately–with an end in sight.
As mentioned, negative stimuli is overwhelming, and it can draw our attention away from the task at hand, while also inhibiting one’s creativity. To brainstorm ideas and create something amazing, it’s important to have a blank slate. With mountains of clutter before you, problem solving becomes the problem itself.
Start cleaning your slate by organizing discardable items: recycling, shredding, and trash. Take it the extra mile, in fact, and clean out your car as well. There are no words to describe how a clean car can change our attitudes before and after work. After all, we spend somewhere near 17,600 minutes a year in the car, as it’s the link between the phases of our day. So, anything to be discarded in the car and work area should be first and foremost.
Then, create for yourself a physical filing system for the remaining items, taking the organization to a digital level by discarding and organizing your computer files. With an organized car and an organized desk, the Monday Catch-Up is a lot less catching up and a lot more moving forward.
When things are out of balance and productivity is off, you spend a lot more time doing damage control. Because of this, you forget to live in the present. Organizing past, present, and future tasks translates to a life of balance–an equilibrium that can determine what and how much you accomplish.