Messy desk? We all know what one of those looks like and how it controls our productivity despite our rationalizations about ‘creative clutter’! If we asked ourselves why we might have such a disorder, the responses tend to fall into three categories:
- ‘just dirty’ by character.
- more material coming in than goes out.
- lack of storage/limited space.
So to solve these issues, what steps could you take? What new habits could you develop and prepare to serve your desire for a clean workspace and elevated productivity?
- Recognize your character and get help from someone who loves stacking, tidying, and filing.
- Either cut down on irrelevant info (don’t renew those journal subscriptions) or sort incoming information according to the one that serves urgent needs and the one that can be shelved/filed to access later either for usual education or a specific application to a project.
- Put in bookshelves, filing cabinet or stacking files – decide how you can best secure your data using these structures and then actually utilize them.
- Review your habits and then either toss, sort or file all your books, papers and other resources.
Based on my experience, there is a relationship between your desk habits and your mental attitudes. We’ll go there next. We said you could deliberate a messy desk because you are ‘just messy’ by nature, you have more data coming in than out, lack storage structures, or don’t take time to put the waste away. There were special action habits we proposed to rectify those reasons.
The correlation with our brain might be as follows:
- Lack of mental discipline
- Lack filters to sort
- Lack of cognitive structures/models
- Lack of time or engagements on task
How do we solve those? Here are some ideas:
- Develop rituals, habits, and intentions that serve you
- Set up a filter based on focus, purpose, and discernment relevant to the inputs.
- Cultivate mental rigor after installing mental frameworks as a Support Structure
- Catalog in time-on-task, pay attention when it means because you know it will save you time later, catalog time for maintenance & upkeep (including downtime away from official work.)
Ultimately, once you know why it deserves the effort in terms of really welcoming whatever you are doing and how much time you will save in the long-run, you will be more than happy to take steps to put into action the points mentioned above for both mental and physical clutter.