It can sound like real common sense, yet many people just don’t have the habit of tidying up and decluttering the work desk.
It might be due to laziness or even a counter-intuitive way of staying organized that some people choose to leave a mess at the workstation.
But even if you are one of those people who choose to keep your workspace looking like a battlefield to impress the boss, you might find that removing all that clutter can have a greater benefit than just showing your colleagues how hard you work.
And that benefit concerns your state of mind.
Think about the last time you entered a fancy hotel room. You walked in and breathed in the freshness and cannot wait for the end of the day so that you can relax in the clean sheets of the queen-sized mattress.
I’d bet that you wouldn’t feel that comfort if the bed was in mess with pillows all over the place and bedsheets that were not nicely tucked.
The pleasure you feel from the neat and tidy look of the bed is no coincidence.
We are generally programmed to love tidiness by default. It’s just that often times, people just find decluttering quite a chore to undertake.
Tidiness and organization eases the mind and alleviates stress. Even feng shui has something to say about it.
A decluttered workspace sub-consciously eases the mind, relaxes your thoughts and calms down your emotions. Putting you in a better mental state to go about work and make decisions.
For example, if you are suddenly reminded of a report which the boss is expecting from you that has slipped your mind, a calm purposefulness is going to help you prepare that report before you get found out. Let’s not forget that the tidy workstation is going to help you find what you need faster.
Arriving at the office each day to a tidy organized table also sub-consciously reminds yourself that you start the day with a clean slate.
There are really only 3 rules you need to follow to ensure that you leave work every day with a tidy desk.
The first is that at most, only 30% of the table surface area should be taken up by office items like stationary, folders and display items. This is excluding the keyboards and computer monitor.
Secondly, any unfinished tasks you have to take on and complete the next day should not be left on the table. Sometimes we leave unfinished stuff on the table so that we are reminded of it the moment we arrive at work.
This does not have to be the case.
Just make it a point to keep all these paperwork in the top drawer. Even if they are in a mess, being in the drawer creates the illusion of cleanliness. This is enough to trick your mind into a calmer state.
Thirdly, keep personal items to a minimum. The office is not your home. And you should keep it at that.
Anyway, having a flurry of personal items at the office can unconsciously make you feel at home… yet you are not. This can deprive you of the real feeling of warmth when you arrive home at the end of the day.
If you don’t subscribe to the notion that a decluttered workstation can improve your mental state, just give it a try for a week or two. I’m confident that you would be able to feel the difference for yourself.