8 benefits of decluttering your workspace

Clutter everywhere might seem like a joke sometimes, but it can actually have a detrimental effect on your productivity at work.

An organized workspace is more than just a pretty area; it can have effects that benefit you on a psychological level, too. In other words, learning how to organize your desk office or cubicle at work can lead you to results that make you feel good.

1. Improved impressions

If your boss constantly sees clutter in your workplace, he or she might look upon you unfavorably. Bosses or managers might think that you don’t care about the job. If you are a sales representative, your sales manager may worry about the impression your desk will give to customers, clients, or businesses with whom they are trying to build relationships. When individuals with power in a company feel good about your presence there, you can feel more motivated yourself.

2. Improved comfortability

Chances are that you’ve tried to put an important file on your desk at some point but couldn’t find a space to put it on the cluttered workstation that seems to be shrinking around you. You may start to feel closed in at your office desk. Keeping your workspace tidy can help make you more comfortable at work. A more open space and a more comfortable environment can lead to greater productivity. Consider how hard it is to complete a task when you’re physically uncomfortable and then apply it to this situation.

3. Boosted confidence

A cluttered desk also probably means that you have lost items at some point. Maybe your manager came by to ask for an important file. When you went to look for it, the item was nowhere in sight. Even if you did eventually recover the file, you probably didn’t look too good in front of your manager. When you can easily produce needed materials and don’t have to shuffle around your desk looking for them, you can feel more confident in your work. Knowing that you’re giving a better impression to your managers can boost your confidence even more.

4. Improved immunity

If it has been awhile since your desk had a professional cleaning, you might have germs lingering on the surface from the sick coworker who stopped by. If you’re constantly noticing that you aren’t feeling well, you might want to blame other people in your office. However, it might be your desk that is causing the weakness to your immune system. Those who work in major cities like Detroit or Baltimore may already have weaker immune systems than those who work in the suburbs. There is no reason to add fuel to that fire. Clearing up the clutter and giving your desk a wipe down with some disinfectant could help minimize your exposure to illnesses.

If you work in the medical industry at an organization like Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center or New York Presbyterian Hospital as a medical director, the cleanliness of your space could literally be life or death for someone.

5. Accomplishment

When life is moving along slowly at work, you may feel as though you aren’t contributing anything to the environment or that you have stopped reaching milestones. While the ultimate goal is to feel fulfilled in your career, you can also look to smaller accomplishments along the way. When you take the time to declutter your desk, you can feel good about checking an item off from your to-do list. Instead of looking at another project that hasn’t been completed, you can know that you achieved a small win.

6. Dealing with procrastination

One of the reasons for delaying the organization of a cluttered desk might be that you are a procrastinator. When you see a task that appears overwhelming, you tend to push it off. Unless you are required by your office to clean and declutter your desk, it might never get done. However, learning how to avoid procrastination without being forced to do so is important. Procrastination can have some benefits, especially for those individuals who work well under pressure, but it can also mean that you don’t get anything done.

7. Building time management skills

Clearing your clutter might seem like a daunting task that will take a lot from your workday. Depending upon how bad the situation is, resolving it could take some time. However, that doesn’t mean you need to complete the project in one sitting or even in one day. Instead of attempting to do that, make a plan. You can allocate a certain amount of time each day to work on the decluttering process. This strategy will help to teach you better time-management skills, which can then be applied to your work in general.

If you struggle with time management, try using the 10-minute timer technique to be more productive, efficient, and focused.

8. Developing creativity

Having clutter around you might stifle your creativity. For example, you may look to the environment around you only to find that you have no inspiration. You may lack access to the tools that you need to sharpen your creativity or to finish your project because you can’t find them.

Taking the time to declutter your desk can change your day to day work life. A clear workspace can alter the way that you perceive yourself and encourage you to be more productive at work.

This article was originally published on BossedUp.org.