A clear space means a clear mind. A 2011 Princeton study found that clutter can actually impair focus by adding visual chaos. Cleaning your space is a simple and immediate way to boost your productivity, so we’ve gathered three tips for decluttering:
“NLTREH”. This un-catchy acronym stands for Never Leave the Room Empty-Handed. Getting up from your desk to go to the kitchen? Grab that dirty plate with you. And when you return, bring something that belongs on your desk back!
Set a timer and GO! Setting a 30-minute timer (or less or more depending on how much you need to clean) can make you clean a lot faster. Make it into a game to see how much cleaning you can get done before time runs out.
Create a ritual. Choose one day a week and have that be your cleaning day. Bonus points if you can add something that you will commit to only doing during cleaning time to help you look forward to it more. For example, you can listen to a new episode of your podcast or light your favorite candle. But only when you’re cleaning!
These three things have radicalized the way that I clean, making the process much more manageable and enjoyable. I hope that they can help you, too! We could all do with less clutter and more room for thinking, creating, and studying.