Get Rid of The Clutter!
Written by: Joey Wilson
Yes, it is that simple – declutter your life. Your brain is a processor, taking in information and doing something with it. How is all the incoming information being used? Well, it depends. In a recent study at Princeton University, putting it in simple terms, when clutter is present within your environment, it restricts your ability to focus[i]. Even though you may not be focusing on that “stuff” surrounding you, it competes with your ability to process information. It causes a distraction, causing your brain to be less effective. When you are less focused, productivity will go down. How does this happen? Visual input, your eyes. When you are not intentionally focusing on your surroundings, your eyes are inputting visual information to the brain. Your brain is taking in information at the same time as you are trying to focus. It is competing for your brain’s attention at the same time you are trying to focus on a solution or problem. Remember, multitasking is a myth.
Many of you who have spent any time with a toddler can relate to this. Have you ever taken a child to the store with you and as you pass by the candy stand the torture begins? “Can you buy me a candy? Please buy me a candy, I want a candy!” You know how the routine goes. Well, clutter is that child screaming for attention!
The visual input from the clutter is competing for your attention. It will wear you down, causing you to work harder on focusing and concentration – taking your energy away. Neuroscientists are discovering that external influences will compete with your thought process.
For you to be more effective start decluttering your workspace, even your living space. Keep it simple if possible. I guess I need to start working on cleaning my office. Hmm, do I really need to get rid of those shells from Costa Rica? I can’t get rid of my Snickers candy tin! I think I have my work cut out for me.
One more thing, stay hydrated. Your brain consists about 73% water[ii], so as you are decluttering, drink plenty of water.