The Dangers of a Cluttered Workspace
Some folks (usually the messy ones) claim that a cluttered and discombobulated workspace is a sign of creativity and intelligence. That could be, but a tidy and sleek work area is a pleasure to sit down in when all files and supplies are in order and there's no chance of finding a week-old, half-eaten tuna sandwich under a stack of manila envelopes.
Whether you're a pack rat or a neat freak, it would benefit you to learn the perks of a decluttered workspace. Giving neatness a chance can confirm that you're just as creative and smart while still being able to maintain a neat office. Tidy up and reap the rewards!
No Mess, No Stress
A big mess can lead to major stress. Missing papers, an exploded pen, and the constant shuffling of junk is unnerving and raises stress levels. As perOnline Career Tips, "Just looking at a messy, unkempt workspace first thing in the morning can raise your stress levels."
TriNetconcurs, "In a disorganized office, it's easy to misplace documents. That can be very stressful, especially when your boss or client is waiting for you to produce said documents." When things are in place and tidy, you'll never worry where your important files and docs are hiding. No one wants a frustrated boss breathing down your neck as you rifle through stacks of disorganized paperwork.
While some declare they "have a system" to explain away their mounds of who knows what, these are the very folks who are often wasting time and resources, and causing unnecessary chaos. While this may seem like an employee's personal choice, it creates a snowball effect when others need to help them out in a bind or start to feel the collective blood pressure rising. Time is money for business. There's enough to stress over at work. Why make your sloppy workspace part of the problem?
A Wealth of Health
Crumbs, dirt, germs, you name it. A messy area is not only unpleasant to look at, but it can actually make you sick. Many of us eat at our desks to save time and money. If the desk is clean, we can see where food has fallen and drinks have dripped and swiftly wipe it clean. Not so for a messy desk. A wayward piece of fried chicken and a glop of Dijon mustard swiftly disappear in a pile of files and scribbled-on Post-Its.
As Online Career Tips puts it, "Your office may have a cleaning service that comes through once a week, but many are not allowed to move items on desks. That could leave many surfaces untouched for weeks." That's going to make for one funky chicken.
"Your desk could be harboring germs or mold from viruses or crumbs. Make a point of cleaning your desk and computer keyboard with the proper cleaners on a regular basis for the sake of your health," notes Online Career Tips. If your desk's a mess, it's simply too difficult to really get in there and clean properly. Papers may cover up the grime, but bacteria will grow and you can get sick.
Do you really want to miss days of work and potential money because your desk was too sloppy to wipe down and you contracted a cold or virus? It's lazy and some may say crazy!
A clear workspace can help promote a clear mind. Unclutterer says it best, "When you know where things are, what your goals are, and take care of the piddley busy work as it appears, you've got significantly more time and energy for the big goals in life."
Professional organizer, Seana Turner toldMonster, "Knowing where things are keeps you on top of your game. People who pile paperwork often obscure items underneath the stacks, resulting in wasted time trying to find what they are looking for. Filing things where they belong creates less surface clutter — and ensures you know where they're at when you need them."
Plus, it's hard to prioritize when everything's in a jumble. You may even forget to do something because it went missing amidst the clutter. And when you do finally remember, will you be able to find the needed paperwork to get to work?
Along with personal efficiency, a clear area is beneficial to the company at large. As per TriNet, "Your office is a reflection of you and your company. And first impressions count. What do your clients, vendors, colleagues, prospective employees and other visitors see? A dirty break room, cluttered desk or messy reception area does not inspire confidence in your professionalism or ability to manage the finer details." If that's not reason enough to tidy up, what is?
It's time to declutter and re-focus. Your time will be more productive and you'll have more room to make a difference personally and for your business. Why be a mess when you can be a success?
- The Dangers Of A Messy Desk ›
- Why a Messy Workspace Undermines Your Persistence ›
- A Messy Desk Is a Sign of Genius, According to Science | Inc.com ›
- A Cluttered Workspace is Detrimental to your Business. So, what to ... ›
- Top 10 Office Decluttering Tricks ›
- How to Declutter Your Workspace ›
- How to Declutter Your Workspace |San Diego Pro Organizer ›
Every time payday rolls around, I’m on top of the world. Jeff Bezos-level rich - even though I’m anything but. And then somehow the very next day, rent is due.
The cycle continues. The next payday, bills for my apartment. I find myself without a surplus of savings since I just moved and newly-furnished my apartment completely.
Even more terrifying is the looming presence of the holiday season. Halloween’s officially over and before we know it, hello Thanksgiving…and then there’s Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s. It’s insane.
I’ve been feeling very British lately. Not in a Union-Jack-obsessed, “Keep Calm and Carry-On” way. I went through that phase in 2012 with everyone else… no thank you. And it’s not even a surge of patriotism catalyzed by the Queen dying — I’m firmly team Diana and team Meghan.
Now that fall is officially here, the holidays will sweep in and I’ll have to contend with the fact that I won’t be spending them with my family in the UK. I went home to London earlier this year, so there’s not much left in my travel budget for another trip across the pond. A few domestic jaunts might be in my future, but the closest I’ll get to England this winter is watching Love Island and Love, Actually.
So in that spirit, I’ve been filling my days with content from my favorite Brits. I’m listening to all the old British rock bands I grew up listening to, patiently awaiting the new Arctic Monkeys album, and rewatching anything with Michaela Coel in it. I even shipped myself an order of British Baked Beans, so you know it’s dire.
I’ve also been watching British YouTubers like Grace Beverley — my favorite. Generally, I only go on YouTube to watch Vogue Beauty Secrets and AD Open Door videos. But I’m so glad I stumbled on Grace. Her content is a mix of London lifestyle (what lured me in), relatable entrepreneurship, and mindful productivity. I’m not a hustle-and-grind-girlboss, but as a creative person in a 9-to-5, I need all the help I can get to stay plugged in. So, the video “how to be really really really productive without getting overwhelmed” changed my approach to WFH.
Grace outlines her own productivity method: the to-do table. Instead of making a simple to-do list, she divides her tasks into a table that anyone can follow. As someone who’s survived with to-do lists for years, I recently implemented Grace’s method, and it’s revolutionized my workdays.
how to be really really really productive without getting overwhelmedwww.youtube.com
I follow her routine to a tee. Here’s how it works:
Essentially, she divides her daily responsibilities into four categories: quick ticks, tasks, projects, and non-negotiables.
- Quick Ticks: Actions that take less than 5-minutes
- Tasks: To-do’s that take up to 30-minutes. Probably don’t take too much brain energy.
- Projects: Long-term list items. These help guide your priorities, even if you’re not crossing them off in one day.
- Non-negotiables: Pick 3 things each day that you must get done. This is how you’ll truly measure success.
With everything written down and sorted, next address your schedule. Meetings, deadlines, and time blocks — whatever works best for you. Write it down. Then make a pact with yourself to stick to them.
This way of categorization provides a roadmap for prioritizing your day — making you far more productive. Have you ever spent the entire day on small tasks and then suddenly realized you hadn’t moved the needle on any task? Or do you spend way too much time on tasks that aren’t a priority? No more. With your non-negotiables laid out, you know what to laser-focus on and what to dedicate energy towards.
Also, it pays to know your working style. I’m not a morning person. Yet, I have to be up and at ‘em super early. So, first thing in the morning, I march through my Quick Ticks to warm me up. I set a time limit, so I can knock out some easy wins which is totally inspiring. Then I move on to bigger things without lingering on emails or admin. For others, it might be more helpful to tackle the big things with all that early-in-the-day brain power earlier.
Grace has great tips on avoiding overwhelm and burnout. My favorite is taking more intentional breaks rather than scrolling through social media. I call this scrolling “productive” because I’m “coming up with pitches.” Oh, the lies we tell ourselves. It’s more productive in the long run to giving my brain a break with non-screen related stimuli.
Grace’s solution? Set a timer to read a real, an actual book. I’ve never thought of this. It’s a genius way to check off some books on my TBR and kickstart my creativity. After reading a good book, I’m completely inspired to write. So having books near my desk helps me step away from the computer during my lunch break for an actual reset. (And yes, the current books I’m reading are by British authors: Assembly by Natasha Brown, and Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalolu.)
In my pursuit of switching out my WFH set-up and getting my life together, I’ve engineered my workstation for success. With my new WFH essentials and Grace’s productivity technique, I’m revitalized for work — despite the fall blues and my melancholy about the pending holidays.
Here are the things getting me hyped for work and helping me crush my Grace Beverley-inspired to-do tables — no lists in sight:
Pack your bags — Southwest Airlines is having a major sale! Fares are as low as $59 one-way if you book by October 3rd.
This end-of-summer super sale is a game-changer for your travel plans through the end of the year. Summertime travel gets all the glory. But why not take advantage of your long weekends, holidays, and PTO this fall. You’ll be surprised at how much travel you can fit in. Keep the fall/winter season exciting with domestic trips that give you all the excitement without breaking the bank. All thanks to Southwest.
Here’s the breakdown:
Where can you go?
You’ll find discounted tickets to and from most airports. Sale fares apply to cross country travel, and even Hawaii, Mexico, and the Caribbean! Whether you’re visiting a new city or revisiting your last beach vacation, this sale has fares to make your travel dreams come true.
What do the fares cover?
Southwest Airlines has multiple fare tiers, each with various benefits. Wanna Get Away fares start at $59, while Wanna Get Away Plus fares start at $89. You can also find great deals on Anytime fares, which offer priority boarding and express lanes. Then there’s Business Select tickets for a luxe experience at an affordable price point.
Do you have to be a Southwest Rapid Rewards member?
You may think these sale fares are too good to be true. Is there a catch? Do you have to be a Southwest Rapid Rewards member to access them? You’re in luck — anyone can attain these fares for a limited time.
But, insider tip, you should consider signing up for Southwest Rapid Rewards. With a free sign up, you earn points and miles with each trip you take. And with this sale, each dollar you spend on these discounted tix can stretch super far until you eventually earn free travel. The only thing better than a sale is free stuff.
I’ve been browsing the Southwest Airlines site, checking out flights and dreaming.