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How Clearing Your Desk Clears Your Mind

Have you ever felt like the more goals and productivity tools you have the more stressed out you are?  Despite the fact that we have electronic devices like mobile phones and computers to help us, we feel like we have too many things to do and never enough time to do them.  If you’re working […]

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Have you ever felt like the more goals and productivity tools you have the more stressed out you are? 

Despite the fact that we have electronic devices like mobile phones and computers to help us, we feel like we have too many things to do and never enough time to do them. 

If you’re working from a desk right now, take a look at it and list the things you can see on them. Maybe you’re on a computer and you have several wires to charge your phone and laptop. Perhaps you have a bottle of water, to-do notes placed around, pens, and other items. 

No doubt, there’s a reason for having so many items. You have work to do and having all the things you need at hand will make you more efficient. And you’ll find it easier to remember what you have to do. 

But what if the reverse is happening. The correlation between an environment filled with things and the feeling of stress is not new. And methods like Getting Things Done and The KonMari Method have been very popular in helping people reduce their stress by bringing order into one’s life.

In this post, I’ll share why doing something as simple as clearing your desk can lead to clarity of mind. It’s not just about organizing your desk. When you manage your room, your cupboard, or any other place, you create space for better thinking. Let’s look at specific ways such activities help you out. 

An organized environment reduces stress

A desk that’s full of items creates a sense of disorganization that unconsciously affects your state of mind. While there are studies that say that messy desks are associated with creativity, you should consider cleaning up your desk if you’re feeling less productive than usual.

When you have a clear desk, an organized cupboard, or an organized desktop screen, you make it possible to focus on a single task. You’re not distracted by multiple actions or reminders. And in a very subtle but effective way, this boosts your mood. 

You become more organized

What happens when you clear your desk or environment? You’re forced to become more organized. 

When clearing your desk, do the following:

  • Discard what you don’t need or don’t work with
  • Prioritize your tasks in terms of what needs to be done right away, what can be done later, or dream projects that you want to get to when you’re done with your most important jobs

When you clear your desk and start organizing things, you give the relevant tasks the right amount of attention and move through your to-do list faster. 

You break down large goals into meaningful small ones

Having lofty goals is good for boosting morale and having a big-picture view of life and work. But if large goals aren’t followed by meaningful and immediate practical goals, then your broader goals just overwhelm you. 

Big goals that aren’t broken down can have you jumping from task to task in an unmeaningful way. 

When you keep a clear desk, you can keep only what’s relevant to your work on it. As a result, when when you sit down and do work, you give that single task your full attention. 

A clear desk affects other areas of life

A study on how clutter affects one’s lifestyle found that people who have clean and organized desks perform better in other areas of life by developing better habits

People who maintain a clear desk tend to eat better, exercise more, and even have better relationships. 

Having one area of your life organized can free you up mentally and emotionally to carry on this feeling to other areas. As a result, your energy can be put to better use and help you achieve other goals. 

Conclusion

The simple task of clearing your desk has a disproportionate effect on your overall well-being. The most useful thing you can do right away is to start by clearing up your desk. 

If you’d like to take your organizing skills to the next level and see positive results, consider exploring David Allen’s book Getting Things Done and Marie Kondo’s work, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. 

With the right knowledge and a few changes, you’ll see powerful changes rising from subtle shifts. 

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