Did you know that clutter can have a negative impact on your ability to focus and process information? A Princeton study found that clutter can psychologically compete for your attention. Specifically, clutter can cause you to have decreased performance and higher stress levels.
If clutter is a problem in your life, it’s time to take to take control. How does clutter affect you during office hours?:
It’s a distraction waiting to happen. Instead of focusing on the task at hand, clutter can weigh you down. It can also make you shift focus, which in turn can cause you to feel guilty about your lack of productivity.
It causes you to waste time. Imagine that feeling of panic when you can’t find simple items, invoices or confidential information. When your desk or workspace isn’t in order, the extra time it takes to search through the mess can certainly add up quickly. Time is money!
It looks unprofessional. Is your monitor framed with layers of Post-It notes? Is your desk hidden under stacks of papers? Unfortunately, coworkers can easily associate a messy workspace with qualities that include you being unreliable, disorganized and unprofessional.
It’s time to work harder and work smarter! Whether you work from home, in a cubicle, or at a communal table, the best way to sharpen your focus is to say goodbye to clutter.
Looking for a few tips and tricks? Here are three ways to organize your desk and steer clear of chaos:
Only keep daily items on your desk
To ensure your focus stays intact throughout your work day, it’s important to only keep important items on your desk that you use on a daily basis. For most, this means a monitor and keyboard, your phone, and maybe a few extra office supplies like a stapler or stationery. Other items such as receipts, invoices, notebooks and personal property should be kept in filing cabinets or desk drawers.
Purge the paper piles
When it comes to clutter, one of the biggest office offenders is traditionally paper – piles and piles of it! The solution? Try and eliminate paper piles wherever you can; set up a system of trays or file folders that are clearly labeled and make it a habit to use them. Even better, start scanning your documents and organize them on your computer.
Schedule weekly cleaning appointments
It’s only natural that workspace clutter will appear again and again. To make sure it doesn’t get out of hand, set aside 10-15 minutes every week to clean your workspace. Eventually, you won’t even need to ‘make an appointment’ – keeping everything neat and tidy will come naturally.
Is clutter a constant problem at work? If so, how does clutter affect you during office hours?
Sam Landa edits the 1-800-GOT-JUNK? blog and is Content Manager and social media manager at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Environment & Sustainability, and in her spare time, she enjoys playing live music and writing. Connect with Sam on Google+ or LinkedIn.