If you're someone who pays attention to your surroundings, you may have already noticed how a cluttered workspace affects your ability to think clearly and manage your work throughout the day. Practicing at work is something we'll explore in more depth in this blog, but here are some quick tips to manipulate your external surroundings in a way that can open you up to increased energy and creativity:
- Be grateful for the space you do have, even if it's cold, dark, and damp - gratitude is a powerful thing, and the best place to start;
- Block out an hour (or two or three) of time to sift through what's on your desk, in your drawers, and within your line of sight. The golden standard, touted by tidy-ness guru Marie Kondo, is to get rid of anything that doesn't "spark joy" inside of you (I'm not sure about you, but that stapler is not sparking much joy in my heart...but I do need it sometimes!). Get everything in your workspace out so that you can see it. For every single item, ask "Is this item essential for getting my job done?" or "Does this bring me a sense of peace?". If you're an American, you are probably very good at accumulating things you don't actually need. Try to channel your inner Marie Kondo here!
- Create three piles and place items accordingly: a) Donate, b) Throw away (remember to recycle anything you can!), and c) Keep - because it's necessary and/or brings me peace!;
- If you don't have any vegetation in your space already, consider getting a small, hardy plant. The benefits of greenery in your environment are many;
- Notice how you feel. Do you feel lighter? More at ease? Many of us neglect to check in with our feelings at work, but it's incredibly important and enables us to be more interpersonally effective.