prepare for the holidays
Clutter is the physical manifestation of unmade decisions fueled by procrastination.
Sooner or later, we all experience it.
But for some of us, it’s a way of life.
And for proof, you needn’t look any further than your own work space.
Chances are, where there’s physical clutter, there’s also a long list of unmade decisions.
The good news? It works both ways.
Clear the clutter, and you’ll help clear the way to more productivity!
In honor of National Clean Off Your Desk Day (yes, that’s a thing), we’re sharing our best work space decluttering tips to help you kick procrastination to the curb:
1. Take a step back
As in, literally step back from your work environment to get a better look at what you’re dealing with. Often, when we spend so much of our time in one space, we lose the ability to accurately assess the factors that may be supporting– or obstructing– our productivity.
Scan your work environment, noting any issues you observe. Is there a comfortable, supported place to sit? A clear work surface? Supplies suited to the tasks you’ll be working on? Try to stay out of judgement or self-criticism; simply note what you see.
2. Be a ruthless editor
Beginning from a blank slate may seem a bit extreme, but it’s the most effective ways to ensure your work space is comprised of items that serve a clear purpose. (Not a fan of decluttering or organizing? As you clear your desk, try to imagine a dense fog around your head gradually clearing. This is a metaphor for the mental space you’re creating for yourself!)
- Remove everything from your work surface, and give it a good wipe down.
- Make 3 piles: Trash, unnecessary items, and necessary supplies. Throw away the trash, find a new home for unnecessary items (e.g., kids’ toys, hair ties), and place everything else back onto your work surface.
- One by one, remove any item that is not necessary to your work. Your goal is to have as few items on your work surface as possible.
3. Add in your favorites
Just because you’re removing the literal and figurative clutter, that doesn’t mean your work space should be devoid of inspiration! Simple swaps (e.g., upgrading to your favorite pens or a new desk calendar) and additions can make a world of difference to the feeling you experience when you sit (or stand) to work.
- Look at the necessary supplies on your work surface: Are there any upgrades you can make?
- Choose 1 or 2 additional items to add to your work surface purely because they bring you joy (e.g., a framed photo, plant, piece of art).
4. Ditch the quest for “perfect”
Often, our procrastination is fueled by underlying perfectionism… and that’s a recipe for frustration, as “perfect” is just an illusion! If you suspect that perfectionism may be at the root of your procrastination, it’s a good idea to start challenging those beliefs and replacing them with more balanced alternatives.
Create a mantra that you can repeat, to help you take action when you’re struggling. A few ideas:
- “Begin anywhere.”
- “Take messy action.”
- “Done is better than perfect.”
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Struggling with procrastination?