I did this ONE thing and it made a bigger impact on my productivity than anything else I had tried before. And it took less than five minutes!
I was at zero
There was a period with my blog where things were going nowhere. I wasn’t writing on a regular basis. I’d sit down to start doing something only to get completely sidetracked after a few minutes. And my constant stopping discouraged me enough to almost stop altogether. I felt like a failure because I wasn’t getting anything done.
Something needed to change. I listened to lots of advice about productivity and getting things done. I used different task management systems to organise my to-do list. But still nothing. Or at least nothing that lasted more than a week or so.
My productivity problem
Then one day I was doing a big clean out and decided that I wanted to clear up my desk. My desk was situated in our dining room at the time and was always the dumping place for everything. You see, you had to pass my desk on your way upstairs (so things get dumped in passing). And you had to pass my desk on your way out the door (so things get dumped in passing). And during mealtimes, my desk was always a handy place to
move DUMP things that we had out on the dining table. Things like my kid’s craft projects or school books. So things would always get dumped there several times a day. Do you see a pattern?
When I decided to clear it off there were broken crayons, a hairbrush, screws, lots of random bits of paper, rocks (???) and a whole host of random items from absolutely EVERYWHERE!! You couldn’t even see the desk. I was sick of looking at it.
So I took it all away
I left only my computer. That’s it. A lonely ol’ computer without any company! I sorted some of the mess, but the rest I just swept into a bag to deal with later! I just wanted it GONE!!
And you know what? I looked at my desk and immediately I felt like writing! And I started to write. And write. It was so liberating!!!
That blank slate of a desk became a blank canvas for my mind! And the ideas started to flow!! I couldn’t think before, let alone create with a whole heap of noise in my workspace!
I did that ONE thing and it made a bigger impact on my productivity than anything else I had tried before.
Change this one thing
Are you facing a similar problem? Is the place where you need to create/process/work drowning in clutter? Or do you need to create a place where you can think, dream or work?
If your work area is busy with a hundred and one different things I challenge you to take them all away.
Empty your creative space. Create a blank canvas.
See what a difference it makes when your thinking space is empty? When you aren’t hassled by all the mess in your peripheral vision and you can just focus on one thing at a time, you can get a lot more done.
If you’re feeling desperate like I was, just grab a laundry basket or a large bag and pile everything cluttering up your space into the laundry basket. And voilà! Your space is cleared!
Of course, if you have the time, then putting everything away properly is the better option!
And if you’d like our Daily Planner page to help you focus on the most important tasks at hand (once your desk is cleared), you can get it as part of our free video series – Daily Planning Like a Pro.
Try it! And let me know in the comments how you feel once your workspace has been emptied. I respond to all your lovely comments!