…and increase your productivity!
I once read that your office surroundings are a reflection of your mind. This is not true in all cases, but if you are the only one using your office and it is cluttered and disorganized then this may be causing trouble with your posting schedule and your idea factory- your mind.
Clutter, especially mental clutter, works against our productivity. If you have lots of little things getting in the way of your big ideas, maybe a little housekeeping is in order!
Clear your desk/office. The first step for all of us website owners and bloggers is to clear away the clutter from our desks! Get rid of all those scraps of paper and wayward sticky notes. Grab a notebook and tape them inside, putting relevant ideas together. Label the pages “great ideas” or “things to do” and sort out what needs doing.
If you have a lot of things to do, ask yourself why? Are you procrastinating? Again, why? Many times, procrastination is our way of protecting ourselves from things that we fear, or we feel overwhelmed by the task. Start small, with one area. I find that tidying up has a kind of snowball effect, and that once I get one area done, it is easy to move on to the next.
Do you get too many emails? Spend some time unsubscribing, and while you are in the computer, delete folders, empty the junk mail, and answer some mail. Feel free to clear the cache and dump temporary files. You may be surprised by how much a tidy work area helps to motivate you!
Organize your calendar and create a posting schedule. Pick which days are dedicated to research, and which to writing/publishing. Clearing things from your to-do list will help improve productivity.
Clear your table: Do you drop your mail off on the kitchen table? Is it a repository for general clutter, like travel mugs and lunch bags? A table is a small area, but clearing it can equal massive benefits. Just looking at an area that is normally untidy and having it clear and ready for its original purpose can be very freeing.
Try to clear your table at least once a day, and preferably in the evening, so that it is tidy when you get up in the morning. After it is tidy, set out some candlesticks and/or place mats as an encouragement to use this area for what it was intended for. Or consider selling it and using the space for something more practical. Not everyone likes to eat at a table.
Clear your bedroom: Try to create the habit of de-cluttering your bedroom at least once a week. Do you have exercise equipment that is being used to hold your laundry? If you are not using the exercise equipment, consider selling it or giving it to someone you know will use it.
If your closet is overflowing and contains clothes that are hopelessly out of date, take a few hours to “prune” it. Are you using it? If the answer is yes, keep it. If the answer is no, give it away. You will feel better if you put everything away that you are keeping, or preparing a box of items to give away.
Women, consider the French way of dressing by purchasing a few key items every season and just wearing them over and over. If you buy quality clothing, and take care with how they are cleaned, you can have a classic wardrobe that lasts for many years. And you always look in style!
Giving things away helps others: If you can no longer use something and it is just taking up space, consider giving it away. Thrift stores are always in need of more, I know that I always feel good dropping off a box of stuff that someone else can use.
Do not keep things “just because”; just because it was a wedding gift, just because my late aunt gave it to me when I was 12, just because I have had it forever. Take pictures of items, put the photos in a scrap book (online or physical) and then give the item away. If you feel nostalgic, look at the photos and remember the good times. If you cannot bring yourself to throw away something sentimental, leave that pile for last. Or just keep the item!
And learn to say no when people try to give you their clutter. I have friends and family members who think nothing of dropping off things that they think I might like because they got a good deal on it, or someone gave it to them and they cannot use it, or….Not anymore. I just say “No, thank you”. Sometimes I have to say it twice, but it gets easier every time you do it.
Happiness is a choice, and so is clutter. It is a bad habit to get into, but like most habits, you can change it or eliminate it. When you walk into your clutter-free home and sit at your clutter-free desk, you will not be distracted by “things I need to do” or “stuff that needs to be put away” or other tasks that get in the way of you moving ahead in your life. You will be present in the moment!
Do what makes you happy. Keep the things that add value to your life, but be able to differentiate these from mundane items you are keeping because you always have. I used to keep everything because I was raised by someone who was raised during the depression and they kept everything! It took a while to break away from bad habits that are not even really mine, but when I come home and my table is clear and I can walk all the way around my bed without tripping over something, it makes me smile, and I know that I have won this battle!
Questions? Comments? Please leave them in the box below. I am always happy to hear from you!