Executive Vitality™: An Hour A Day Keeps Your Clutter Away

Executive Vitality™: An Hour A Day Keeps Your Clutter AwayLet’s talk about organizing—spending an hour a day to stay on top of the things that matter most, yet are buried, lost, forgotten, or put on tomorrow’s list.

You just don’t feel right when your mind, your office, your life are in chaos. Any one of those is an energy drain. Don’t you feel more energetic if you are organized, can find what you want, and focus on what is important to you? Clutter can affect your brain in a way that is akin to pain, according to a Yale study: How Clutter Affects Your Brain and what you can do about it.

Tips for organizing abound: e.g., organize your day, do it before you start or do it at the end of the day . . .

A friend of mine once decided she was going to rid herself of clutter. She decided to spend 2 hours a day getting organized. She said the process revolutionized her life; she came away freer, happier, and more productive. Why? Clutter distracts your brain according to a Princeton University Neuroscience study: Scientists find physical clutter negatively affects your ability to focus, process information.

You may not have to spend 2 hours a day throwing things out, but suppose you spent ONE HOUR a day or just committed to 15 minutes a day on whatever organizing or de-cluttering you need to do? It doesn’t have to be a chunk of time that is overwhelming. Start small.

We suggest:

    • Commit to the maximum amount of time you can—whatever minutes today you can devote to get better organized and clutter free—we don’t know what that is for you, but you do. Make it longer if necessary. Remember, even ten minutes of de-cluttering is better than three minutes of self-punishment for not doing it, and definitely better than ten minutes of not finding something.
  • Make a list of the organizing and de-cluttering projects you need to do. Start with the one that is most “fun” and least daunting. What needs organizing at home? At work? Your closet? Your files (computer or physical)? Your finances?
  • If some de-cluttering projects require movement and some don’t (most of us sit way too much), mix them up—those requiring just mental effort and those that require physical effort too. Do a little of each every day.
  • Give yourself the satisfaction of physically checking the item off the list.
  • Commit to try this for a month.
  • Journal about how the effort and outcomes affect you.

What is your clutter? How would better organizing or getting rid of clutter altogether improve your vitality?

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