“My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.”
- Francine Jay
Every time I sit down at my desk to work I make sure it is clear and free of clutter and unnecessary items.
Why? Because getting rid of clutter can help you to be more focused, relaxed and productive.
Decluttering is conducive to good mental energy and creativity.
A 2013 study by scientists at the University of Minnesota showed that those with messy desks were more prone to creative thinking. But be careful about the words ‘messy’ and ‘clutter’ -- they have a very subtle difference of meaning. Mess is what occurs naturally as a part of life. It happens wherever and whenever someone works or lives, and is easily cleared away. Clutter, on the other hand is an excess of things that takes up valuable space and ruins creative clarity.
In his 1901 book ‘The Simple Life, the French pastor and author Charle Wagner said that; “Joy is not in things; it is in us”.
We live in highly materialistic world and are told on a daily basis through advertisements that buying the right stuff and buying more of the right stuff is going to make us happier and more successful. The problem with possessing too much, is that it comes with a lot of emotional baggage.
We hang onto things out of fear — a fear of throwing something away and later thinking, “I wish I had kept that”. For those who overcome this fear, they find the complete opposite — a happier life, a life more focused on work, creativity and productivity, and a life more focused on life itself rather than on things.
Some amount of chaos can be a good thing in creativity. Creativity requires flexibility and spontaneity, but too much can be detrimental.
Throw away old newspapers and magazines, letters and documents that you no longer need.
Clean up your desk or workspace.
Clear up and organise your desktop or apps that you use.
Limit distractions by turning off notifications, etc.
Pay attention to how your space is organised and be aware of the difference between mess and clutter.
By all means make a mess, but get rid of clutter!