Did you know that a cluttered environment, creates a mess inside your head, making it hard to focus and get anything done?
If you need any assistance when reading this post please note Browsealoud is installed on this site. Click the headphone logo in the top left corner of the screen to launch the assistive toolbar.
I know Einstein gave us the famous quote “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then, is an empty desk a sign”, therefore suggesting that brilliant people and creatives need a messy environment to thrive. And while that is true for some people (look at Einstein!), some of them use just really need balance, order and a clean desk to do their best work.
However, it is true that your environment has a great manner of influence on your ability to concentrate. This is true for everyone, but especially so for dyslexics. With our brain wired in a slightly different way, we crave order (apart from exceptions such as Einstein, but I suspect there was order in his chaos). Not just that, we seem to be more influenced than most by our surroundings. This leads to behaviour that might seem almost OCD to some people, while for us it’s a natural coping mechanism to make sure we function as best as we can.
De-clutter your mind
The calmer your mind, the better you will be able to focus, concentrate and get things done. Set boundaries for yourself, or create an office space at home. Once you enter your office, close the door as a clear sign for yourself that now it is time to start working. Or doing a quick meditation will also help to declutter your mind and get into the right mindset.
Even some quick dusting and decluttering of your desk can have an amazing impact on your mind. As with a lot of things, mindset is everything. And your environment has a great impact on this.
Good environment, everything in its place
Since the environment has such a great impact on your mind and productivity level, it might be worth your while to look into Feng Shui. This Japanese art of interior design is focused on creating a balance in your home. If this is something you’d like to get into be aware, there are a lot of rules that have to do with the way the room is positioned and it’s very focused on aligning everything with the compass directions. It’s also a very minimalistic approach to room design.
Speaking of eastern philosophies, you may have heard of Marie Kondo or the KonMari method. This Japanese woman is the guru of tidying and cleaning. Her books went like hotcakes and her method is all based on one single question ‘does it spark you joy?’
When looking at all your possessions, you may notice that you hold on to things without realising it. Old memories, things that you feel like you have to keep because if you don’t it might ‘hurt’ the person who gave it to you. But all of those things in your home, according to Marie, eat up your energy. Energy you could also have used for other things like getting things done. So when you dive into your next spring clean, or autumn clear out, ask yourself this: does it spark joy? Do the things you hold on to make you happy? If not, it might be time to let the go. How much space would it give in your head if you were only surrounded by the things you love?
Go somewhere else
Of course, all those things you love can also work as a distraction. You might really love your colouring book, but it won’t help you get things done. When you feel you are too distracted at home, go somewhere else. Some of us work great in coffee shops, while others prefer the quiet libraries. Find out what works for you, pack up your laptop and head out. Sometimes the act of going somewhere to work can help you get in the right mindset to get things done. It will also eliminate the distracting feeling like you have to go and fold the laundry (guilty!), or do the dishes before you can settle in and start doing some work.
Decorating, your way
And finally, when it comes to creating a good environment, it’s all about doing what works for you. Do you love brightly coloured items? Get them in there. Or if you’re more of a minimalist who loves white elements in their home and space, make sure you make that the centre element of your room. There are even people who hate office spaces, so if you have a home office, who says it has to look like an office? That’s right, nobody does. So decorated it in a way that makes you happy, that fits with your style, because the happier you feel in your office, the more productive you will be.
So how do you make sure your environment is designed to get all the things on your to-do list done? We’d love to hear your best tips in the comments!
The Codpast is a multimedia production from www.extraordinaire.tv