The Clutter of Work

by Brooke Goldstein | | Lifestyle

I think we can all agree: work is stressful. But your workplace doesn’t have to be. With my clients, I see an inverse relationship between messiness and efficiency: the cleaner the space, the more work gets done. Plus, the more efficient they are, the more fit they are! Efficient people have time and energy for self-care, and they have the satisfaction of accomplishment. That’s a one-two punch for living your best life.

To be at your best, then, you need to set the stage for a great day. Here’s what I suggest:

  • *  Downsize your to-do list. Make it no more than five items per day and prioritize what must be done and what should be done. Long lists guarantee failure and frustration. Short ones ensure success.
  • *  Create a positive “eye space.” Clear the clutter from your line of vision. Add in flowers or an inspirational quote or photo. Just remember: one or two photos are fine; 20 photos make you cross-eyed. (Ever notice that the fancier the store, the fewer the number of items in the window? It’s how retailers say, “Attention: This is important.”)
  • *  Corral your email time. Pick a time of day that you’ll tackle that message pile and stick to it. Send an automated response explaining that you’ll be in touch later. One client removed her work email from her phone, and another refused to listen to phoned-in complaints and demands. She uses Voice to Text instead so she can scan the messages stress-free.
  • *  No more pings and dings! Get rid of the apps that take you out of the moment. Ditch the dings, bells, and notifications. Are you more efficient now than before you knew about Instagram? I thought so.
  • *  Change the meaning of “crunch time.” True fact: the longer the computer session, the stronger the urge to crunch. This is prime Doritos time. Stave it off by having something healthy-crunchy on hand: baby carrots, kale chips, cucumbers, home-popped popcorn. You will become full and control the mindless binge-fest!
  • *  Learn to cry “Uncle!” Respect yourself enough to know when you need a break. Say no to driving carpool three extra days. Say, “Sorry, can’t,” when the boss moves the deadline. Let someone else take the class gerbil home. And guess what: the world won’t end if you play hooky for a day! In fact, you’ll perform better if you’re well rested and clear.

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