5 Reasons Less Clutter Means More Productivity
Einstein may have said it best when he said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” While he may have felt at home in a messy, disorganized work space, few people do and in reality, disorganization costs businesses time and money that many can ill afford. Here is a great list of reasons less clutter means more productivity and tips to getting and staying organized.
Ways Reducing Clutter Can Improve Productivity
Clutter doesn’t happen overnight—it’s an accumulation of items that people think they may need, don’t know where to put, or are scared to throw out.
Paper is of particular concern, as it’s used in almost every aspect of business, from contracts to invoices. Each piece of paper that is generated requires some type of action, whether it needs filing, copying, signing, mailing, forwarding, or paying, and if not dealt with in a timely manner, can quickly begin to pile up. Left untended, this type of clutter can hamper productivity, costing you valuable time and resources, but you can gain it all back by reducing the clutter, clearing your work space, and your mind.
- Find what you need, when you need it. Looking for that invoice, file folder, document, or receipt in a sea of paper can be a herculean task in a cluttered environment, not to mention a waste of time. According to the Wall Street Journal, the average office worker spends the equivalent of six weeks per year searching for lost information. Fifteen percent of the paper used in business is lost and each piece that remains lost costs a business $120 to replace.
- Focus on the task at hand. It’s nearly impossible to focus your mind on a single task, when you are surrounded by unfinished projects. Reducing the surrounding clutter allows you to keep your focus, automatically improving productivity.
- Let go of negative feelings. Clutter sends negative messages to your brain, of guilt over work that is incomplete, and embarrassment at the state of disorganization.
- Regain a sense of accomplishment. Clearing piles of clutter from your work area allows you to properly organize your thoughts and materials needed to complete each individual task efficiently, resulting in increased productivity and a renewed sense of accomplishment.
- Get healthy. Anxiety, restlessness, guilt, and excessive stimuli from clutter can have a negative impact on your health, in addition to inhibiting creativity, and productivity. Put simply: less mess equals less stress.
Take back your space, with these tips to reduce clutter:
- Be decisive. Deal with each piece of paper you handle in a timely manner, ensuring you only touch it once. As soon as you’ve reviewed it, make a decision whether to file it, take action, shred, or recycle.
- Go digital. Scan and convert items such as invoices or receipts, to digital files, and store them in the cloud, rather than on your desk.
- Shred. Sort through your desk, filing cabinets, and other areas where paper tends to accumulate, for documents you no longer need. Those containing sensitive information should be shredded by a professional document destruction company, in accordance with regulatory compliance, to enhance security and effectively reduce clutter.
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