Getting on top of mental clutter

I have never been the best at being a neat organiser. I have a messy desk, a messy bag, and my home computer has those great piles of paperwork beside it. Does it make me unproductive?

I used to think that it did, so I would spend lots of time trying to get it organised, to find I wasn't then any more productive than when I just left it. The more I put things away, the more time I spend trying to find them! So, rather than try to change my lack of neatness, I approached productivity from another angle.

What I didn't realise until recently, was that clutter can be anything that prevents you from doing what you need to do. Therefore, it can be physical things, like piles of paper, or it can be emotional things, like stress or being forgetful. The things that surround us physically, and the daily routines we adopt, are only an issue if they impact on our ability to function.

Therefore, a pile of papers on my desk is not my clutter as I function very well with it there. My clutter, instead, is the "busyness" in my head - I am sometimes not great at planning my day I discovered, because I rely on keeping everything in my head. When the day gets busy, I then tend to forget them. Getting into bed at night, they all come flooding back - you might be familiar with this as well? So, I have mental clutter you could say!

I have been working really hard to declutter my head each day and the best way is writing things down and planning my day before it starts. The night before, I write a realistic list of what I think I can achieve, and I put that piece of paper in my bag. when I get to work, it comes out and sits on my desk and I make sure those things get completed before I go home.

Clutter is individual. Try to identify what your clutter is. How can you change or eliminate it? It might be the way you go about a routine, or it could be learning consistency with organisation. If you are like me and have mental clutter, try using a written list to prioritise what you need to complete - no more forgetting for me and I can go home each day feeling like I have achieved more, and can relax at home with my family.

Planning, Organising


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