The state of your surroundings at home and at work has been proven to impact your outlook and productivity. If you work in an environment where papers are strewn all over, and you’re likely to trip on a wire, you will be less able to focus and get tasks done. It will be even more of a challenge to concentrate if you work in the midst of incessant noise.
Going home to a chaotic environment can further add to the stress from work. Cluttered spaces will make you feel overwhelmed or anxious, as though you’re not in control of what’s happening around you. A tidy, well-organized environment, on the other hand, will induce a sense of serenity and allow you to better focus.
Here is how clutter can make you feel powerless and less in control of your life and what you can do to take back that control.
Do you have a heap of stuff filling up the closets that you don’t wear or a room where you dump everything from unused clothes to unwanted gifts? Are your kids’ rooms littered with broken toys or disfigured dolls? Even if these items are stashed away in drawers or neatly piled up in cabinets, the fact is they’re not likely to be used again. And they’re taking up space that could be useful for something else.
Clutter is not limited to the things you can see. Are there things occupying your mind, distracting you from more productive thoughts? Are you constantly going back to an incident that happened in your past that weighs you down, fills you with worry or makes you wallow in self-pity? Mental clutter can just be as debilitating as physical clutter, if not more.
When you don’t clear clutter, it tends to multiply and spill over into other areas of your life. Your chaotic, stress-inducing workspace can create negative emotions that you take home with you. Baggage from your past cluttering your mind can affect the quality of your relationships, depriving you of the fulfillment of deeper connections.
In spite of the clear demerits of clutter, people tend to cling to it convincing themselves they might find a use for it in the future. And, weird as it sounds, many folks tend to find comfort in revisiting past hurts or using them to justify bad habits. But the longer you maintain the clutter, the longer you live with that feeling of helplessness.
Take Back Control
The process of clearing the clutter surrounding you should start with the things you have control over. You may not be able to get rid of the ringing phones at work or reduce the files coming into your in-tray, but you can decide to get organized. You can store files you don’t need immediately in a cabinet, arranging them chronologically or alphabetically for easy access.
If your drawers and cabinets are already overflowing with documents, take the time to sort through the paperwork and decide what is truly worth keeping. You will find you have piles of reports and receipts dating back years that you ought to have fed to the shredder ages ago. Purging unused applications and files on your computer will also improve your focus while boosting the machine’s performance.
Focusing on Internal Health
Bringing matters back closer home, confront the reality that you will never find an occasion to wear those dresses and prepare a package for the Salvation Army. Establishing a discipline of returning things after using throughout the family will help maintain that orderly residence you will be happy to return to after work.
In addition to tidying up your surroundings, taking back control can also mean improving yourself physically and mentally. Committing half an hour to exercise or meditation before you start your day can help you clear your mind in preparation for the day’s activities. Equally important to clear your mind is a good night’s rest.
The quality of your vision also plays a big part in your ability to focus and be productive at work or at home. If you’re struggling with the blurriness of objects brought about by presbyopia, you will need a prescription for progressive and bifocal lenses. If the glare from your computer screen is causing you to squint through assignments, glasses that decrease light sensitivity will help.
A Step At A Time
There are many ways in which clutter can interfere with your ability to enjoy life or be productive. But there is something you can do to clear the clutter and regain control of your life. Begin working on the things within your control one by one, and you will gain the momentum you need to make bigger changes to improve your life.