Brief

A messy desk can hamper your productivity, writes Naphtali Hoff, who recommends purging old documents, creating a new organizing system and putting things away at the end of the day. “Our external order creates internal sense of orderliness and allows us to do more while handling challenges in stride,” he writes.

 

Insight

In a previous series for SmartBrief, I laid out my five-step productivity process for leaders, which I then turned into a Productivity Blueprint. This post goes deeper on the first of my five steps — planning for maximal productivity — and picks up from the last one, which detailed how to set positive, actionable goals.

Research is clear that we get more done when we know where things are. This is true with our physical things (papers, files, gadgets, etc.) as well as our digital ones. Not only can things be found more easily when they are systematically organized, but there is also a significant psychological benefit of keeping our things in order.

Our external order creates internal sense of orderliness and allows us to do more while handling challenges in stride. It makes us feel in control of our situation and allows us to clearly focus and identify areas that need attention

In contrast, a messy workspace sends a subliminal message that our work lacks importance or that the processes we are involved in are not meaningful. It also increases distractibility and can promote both negative energy and anxiety.

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