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How Clutter Affects Your Productivity

How Clutter Affects Your Productivity

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Clutter happens. You hold onto things for many reasons; false sentiment, false productivity, laziness. Then you reach a point where you can’t imagine letting go of any of it. And even if you wanted to, you wouldn’t know where to start.

But many studies are coming out denouncing clutter as a serious distraction. It affects your ability to think and be creative. When you’re distracted, you can’t process information as efficiently as you would in an uncluttered, organized environment. It can be very much like standing next to a child who’s constantly nagging. This can be very frustrating and can diminish your mental resources.

Your brain can only work to its full potential when it’s in a safe, calm place. And overloading your brain with distractions forces it to divide its powers and pay attention to what’s not important, such as sifting for notes and searching for lost documents.

There’s this misconception that successful people have messy, cluttered desks because they give off the sense that they don’t have time to sort and file. But that’s such a negative, truly misconstrued picture of the truth.

When instead, your brain should be using its power to boost its memory and concentration abilities and be able to quickly move through information and various tasks. 

Clutter isn’t only in the home, it can also be found at the workspace, on the computer and on our smartphones. Bryan Hunter from Instant Offices believes that the average employee wastes up to 7 days per year looking for misplaced items at work. 

He says, “Keeping your company organized is paramount to keep staff mobilized, sustain high office productivity, and remain focused on priorities and profitability. Whether you are a large organization or a small business owner, maintaining a clutter-free office can have a huge effect on the bottom line.”

And since every company, big and small, is measured by its productivity levels, having unorganized clutter does exactly the opposite, thus minimizing the company’s success rate. Having clutter at your workspace, whether it’s physical or digital, has a negative impact on you by increasing stress levels while decreasing both your performance and attention span.

What happens next is that your brain has a lot to deal with and you become stretched in every single way. You lose your ability to smoothly transition between tasks, to filter information and to keep a strong working memory.

In conclusion, focusing on having a productive life at work and at home, you need to focus on getting to what’s important efficiently and effectively. You want to process information better? Feel less stress and distractions? Increase productivity and your ability to concentrate efficiently on the task at hand? 

Then find a filing system that meets your needs. It may be color-coding your files or placing containers on your desk within your reach – the point is to find out what works for you and implement it, so you can get things done without hassle and –.

At the end of the day, studies prove that you absolutely cannot live with clutter. So, decluttering is critical, but remember that it’s a purely subjective process. In other words, what feels like clutter to you may not seem to bother your co-worker. So, clean out only the things you feel are cluttering your desk and brain. A good place to start is on the surfaces, like desks and tables and then tackle inside drawers and cabinets.

You should create a serene space that meets your needs and helps you feel at ease. Having that power and freedom will enable you to be more creative and productive.


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