Does Your Clutter Get in the Way of Living?
Posted in: LIFE AND HOME
If there’s one thing many of us are not good at, it’s keeping our workspace uncluttered. Over the years, have your parents, teachers and colleagues scolded you about your messy work habits? If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably told them that your clutter is an organised mess. However, there is a link between a clutter-free workspace and greater productivity.
What is Clutter?
How do we define clutter? According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, clutter is, “a crowded or confused mass or collection.”
It would seem that this confused mass would inhibit getting any work done. However, according to psychologist Dr Ermine Leader, if someone is indeed working there will be a certain level of clutter. In other words, for a productive person clutter is inevitable. She calls this “organised clutter” – it may be untidy, but they know where everything is. However, she says that a clutter-free environment could be symptomatic of a perfectionist or a person with OCD, not necessarily a sign that someone is hard at work. Someone once said, “A clean house is the sign of a boring person” – joking aside, tidiness doesn’t always equate to productivity.
Clutter and Stress
Clutter can make people feel stressed. Studies have shown that external conditions have a direct correlation with internal conditions. A cluttered workspace contributes to a cluttered mind. In fact, a cluttered workspace can be indicative of a cluttered mind.
Clutter and Time Management
Clutter is also linked to efficiency and time management. The statistics are staggering: it is said that in the average human lifetime, we spend one and half years looking for things we can’t find.
Desk Saver, a Boston management consulting firm, concluded after a major study that the average office worker wastes over 12% of every day searching for things on their desk.
People in general spend on average 28 minutes a day searching for items, while 66% of office workers who responded to the “P-touch means business” survey indicated they spent up to 30 minutes of time during a typical work week looking for things they have misplaced at their desk or around their office. Messy desks and time spent looking for misplaced items cost corporate America $177 billion annually, according to a 2010 study by Brother’s International. Another survey found 87% of workers admitting that they feel less productive when their space is cluttered.
Unorganized clutter, it would seem, can lead us down a slippery slope of stress, wasted time, inefficiency and procrastination. Robert Brault put it this way: “I am never five minutes into stripping the clutter from my life before I start running into the clutter that is my life.”
I definitely do not want to strip my life, or reminders of my life, away. It seems our goal should be to organize our clutter in such a way that the things strewn around that represent our lives don’t get in the way of actually living.
MYC Writer Simone M. SamuelsSubscribe to UpdatesRelated Articles