A hotel stay can be a truly rejuvenating experience. Not having to worry about cleaning, washing, or tidying up after yourself is a real luxury for many of us. It’s not just the absence of chores that makes a hotel stay so special. It’s the simplicity of the environment—all those non-descript furnishings that are sterile of meaning—that creates a sense of peace and calm.
For most of us, home is the exact opposite. It’s filled to the brim with things that tend to trigger thoughts and emotions – some pleasant, some stressful. From the dirty laundry on the floor of the bedroom to the tchotchkes that line the shelves, our living spaces can easily become cluttered with things that distract us from what’s important – even if they are just pulling our thoughts away from the present task at hand.
A cluttered desk is distracting and can make you feel overwhelmed, which leads to procrastination and stress. Piles of things that are on the to-do list each clamor for attention when our gaze passes over them. Decluttering your desk is a great way to reclaim some headspace and improve your ability to focus on the present. When your desk is clean and organized, you can focus more easily on the task at hand. It may make you feel calmer and more motivated to work.
Reclaim your desk space of anything that doesn’t serve the task at hand. Keep only the essentials, such as your computer, a lamp, and a notebook. If a picture of family, a pet, or an inspirational quote helps drive your focus keep that. But above all remove all excess. Designate a space for everything, so it’s easy to find what you need when you need it and doesn’t lead to distraction as your rummage through things with potential for distraction.
As you go through the process, set aside some time to try to appropriately address your desk clutter. Throw out anything that has become dated and find an appropriate home for anything that you wish to keep. Of the things that remain on your to-do list, see if there are any quick wins. Are there things you can knock out in five minutes and then throw out or file? Managing the leftovers will deserve a blog post of their own, but paring your desk down to the essentials and dipping into the to-do box and addressing one task at a time will help keep your focused on the task at hand.
Taking the time to clear your workspace space will help your attend to the one task you’ve chosen with greater mindfulness. It gives you the choice more readily to focus on what matters most – the task you’ve chosen to address right now.