If you’re like me, sometimes it’s hard to get your head in the game. The deadline’s looming, you’ve got a sore back from doing too much over the weekend, you had to skip breakfast because you slept in, and now you can’t seem to get started. Looking over your desk or workspace, all you see is clutter.
It’s enough to make you want to turn off the computer, get up and walk out, right?
For me, clutter is a big four-letter word. I just can’t stand to come to work, all ready to go (or not) and be confronted with a pile of disorganized papers, mail someone dumped in the middle of the desk instead of the inbox tray, pens that found their way into corners, empty paper ream wrappers and so on.
I think to myself that this is a big waste of time – but I can’t help myself. I have to tidy up before I do anything else.
Most of all, however, I’m angry with myself that I didn’t take the time before I left the office yesterday to do what I normally do: clean up my workspace.
In reality, it only takes a few minutes to do the job properly. The caveat is, of course, that it’s done regularly. It kind of defeats the purpose if the clean-up task is left undone for a solid week. That just results in a massive job that takes time away from more productive or enjoyable pursuits.
Here, in no particular order, are the reasons I hate clutter. Maybe some of them resonate with you.
- Clutter makes me look disorganized.
- The boss doesn’t take too kindly to a messy workspace.
- It takes much too long to find what I’m looking for, especially when I need it quickly.
- I can’t think clearly when I’m surrounded by clutter.
- If it’s a leftover food container or latte, there’s a smell I have to deal with in addition to the mess left behind.
- Ever have a problem with ants from something sticky or sweet that didn’t get cleaned up? I have. And I hate bugs even more than clutter.
- The messier my desk looks, the worse I feel.
- I think clutter is contagious. It often seems like my co-workers don’t tend to their mess if I don’t keep my workspace clean.
- When I’m surrounded by clutter, I feel completely unmotivated to get anything done.
- Clutter reminds me that I need to do a better job managing my time – so there’s enough time to take care of this annoying, but necessary, daily task.
Change Your Habits, Change Your Life
I’m a big fan of Gretchen Rubin and I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from her tips on how to change your habits to live a healthier life.
I’ve also read books and blog posts, and watched how-to videos and presentations on time management, simplifying your life, prioritizing goals and how to become successful in everything you do. I think I’ve done my research.
What I’ve learned is that not only is cleanliness next to Godliness, the sign of an orderly mind and a good habit to practice, it also feels good to get rid of all that clutter.
It really is possible to change your habits and change your life.
Now, what happened to my to-do list? It was just here somewhere…
What irks you most about clutter? More important, what tactics do you use to deal with it?
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