If you feel as if you have too much stuff, papers and things around you, and that you get so distracted by all the clutter as soon as you raise your eyes that you have difficulties concentrating on the task in front of you, I am sure you would like to have a calmer and more soothing work-environment.
The more things you have surrounding you and your work-space, the more time you will spend shuffling them around and trying to sort them out.
If you, for instance, have kept a large amount of magazines and publications since you thought they would one day come of use, then you will have to spend more time looking for those which actually have come in handy, that is, if you can find them at all.
Less things – more space
Rid yourself of what you no longer need. Perhaps it is old and out of date, maybe it does not work any more, or perhaps it was inspiring in the past but has now lost its engaging power.
If more of the documents and objects you keep are of the kind that you truly need, it will simply be easier to find what you are looking for. With fewer things and piles in your office you will have more physical space for working on those important tasks you need to do with as little effort as possible.
If you are like me, clear spaces give greater peace of mind.
But perhaps you are one of us who figure something along the lines of: “Well, I really should clean things up around here, but I don’t have time right now; I’ll do it during the summer then things have calmed down”.
There are other options. The principle of taking small steps is applicable even in this scenario.
- Give yourself a real challenge: Decide to let go of and get rid of one thing every day.
It can be a physical object, pens you aren’t really comfortable using, magazines you will never read, old documents no one is interested in, something given to you as a gift and which you hence believe you have to keep et c.
“Getting rid of” means giving away, throwing away or selling. Putting it away in a box or in some other storage space does not count.
- In order to make your cleansing-process more concrete, designate a lined paper to tracing your progress.
- Every day, make note of what you dispose of on that particular day.
- Make a conscious decision on how long your challenge should be.
- Will you do this until the sheet is full?
- Will you continue for a whole year (which sums to about 250 work-days)
- When and if you feel like it, or when you have finished the challenge, write to me and tell me what happened, how it went and what effect it had on you and your work-day. You will reach me by e‑mailing me.
Looking for things is a nuisance
Perhaps the exercise will have the same effect on you as it did on me by giving you a great sense of relief, fewer places to look for your material in (and hence less time spent looking for things) as well as more energy and desire to acquire new things which inspire you in where you are and who you are right now.
What is your way?
What is your method to avoiding visual distractions when you are working? Leave a comment to spread the word.