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25 Apr

When you do not have time for a day to clean up

Datum: 2012-04-25 12:00

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 Per­haps it is old and out of date, maybe it does not work any more, or per­haps it was inspir­ing in the past but has now lost its engag­ing power.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. 

Do this

  1. 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.
  2. In order to make your cleans­ing-process more con­crete, des­ig­nate a lined paper to trac­ing your progress.
  3. Every day, make note of what you dis­pose of on that par­tic­u­lar day.
  4. 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)
  5. 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.