Today is “National Clean Off Your Desk Day.” Who knew they even had such a thing? 🙂 But alas, they do and it’s today.
And being that it’s raining cats and dogs outside on a Monday morning, it makes for the perfect time to drop what you’re doing (or you are already procrastinating) so you can clear off your desk.
But why would you do such a thing? It’s only going to end up looking like that again, right?
Stress and Anxiety Thrive in Chaos
There’s something to be said for a clean work space- whether you use a desk or you are talking about your kitchen, your van, or even your baby changing station. When things are piled up in disarray, it can impact all of your senses. It makes it hard for your brain to know where to focus.
If you happen to already feel stressed or anxious, well then, everything just magnifies. Your brain starts to say, “See there? You can’t get anything right. Your desk looks like a tornado struck. No wonder you have overdue bills- you can’t find anything!”
So the negative messages just keep cycling through your brain, making it harder and harder for you to function. If you want to feel less “all over the place” then take the 10 minutes you need to clear off your desk. It’s a great start to feeling in control.
Being Productive Keeps Guilt and Procrastination Away
At the end of the day, when you can say, “I had a great day! I did ____________,”it makes you feel accomplished! It doesn’t really matter just how big the task was, it’s about the process of doing. That sense of productivity is great for confidence- and it helps to chase away the doubt and guilt that comes with anxiety.
Carrying over the same to do list from day-to-day and week-to-week just makes you feel stuck. And guilty. And like a bit of a slacker. So taking the time to cross something off of your list, even if it’s as simple as clearing off your desk or straightening up the backseat can make you feel like the day wasn’t a total waste.
Having a neat area that is your home base actually increases the chances of getting other things done. Why? It’s easier to find what you need, it takes less time to find things, and you’re able to remember what you were doing in the first place.
Once you start being productive, it’s actually easier to keep going with things on your list. That’s what’s called “intertia” and it’s something that you’ve probably long forgotten since fifth grade science class. But, things in motion, tend to stay in motion. Things that are standing still, don’t have that much of a chance for moving.
So if you’re looking for a way to stop procrastinating, start with the tiniest, least demanding thing on your list and do it first. Then skip over to something else on the list. You’ll be amazed with the chain reaction.
If you’re having a hard time concentrating, or if you need a type of break from the demands that are on you right now, or if you just are tired of the mess staring back at you, take a moment to clear off a surface next to you- from the coffee table to the top of the dryer to the console in the car or even your desk.
And say good-bye to the chaos and hello to feeling calm and in control of things.