Home Work

6 Ways How Clutter Affects Your Concentration

Written by: Sandeep Challa

Updated: June, 23, 2011

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Whether it’s your home or office, clutter not only affects the appearance but also your ability to work efficiently and relax fully. The effects of clutter are far more reaching than not being able to find what you need; clutter can actually affect your physical, mental, and emotional health, reducing overall concentration and productivity.
Contrary to some beliefs, clutter is not always a result of laziness or even disorganization. For some people, clutter is the result of sentimentality, a need for control, or anxiety regarding the future. These are the people who cling to items due to an emotional connection or for fear that they may need it in the future.

Clutter over the desk, makes a person sad & stressed out.

[Image Credit]

Here are six ways that clutter affects your ability to concentrate.

1. Meaningless Multi-tasking

Many people who collect clutter tend to have “organized” piles. They are often working on many different projects at a time. The problem with this approach is that rarely is any task ever completed. Their attention is divided in so many directions that they can’t truly focus on any one job from start to finish. Typically, while in the midst of working on one project, these people get distracted by the demands of another task, leaving the original in an unfinished state.

2. Procrastination leading to Lack of Motivation

As the victims of clutter become overwhelmed, they begin to put off tasks, planning in earnest to accomplish them later, but becoming distracted by seemingly more urgent tasks. As the pile grows, their motivation wanes under the amount of all that must eventually be completed.

3. Avoidance of the Cluttered Area

An area filled with clutter does not make for a relaxing environment. Those who are enslaved to clutter will eventually begin to avoid the cluttered spots, as those areas evoke feelings of guilt at not having accomplished more or frustration at not being able to carry a task through to completion. This is particularly problematic when the area of clutter is a workspace or office containing tasks that eventually must be completed.
These people are more likely to miss deadlines due to neglect, disorganization, or procrastination. Avoiding the cluttered areas eventually becomes a cycle in which the workload is so overwhelming that it is never dealt with; as it increases, it becomes even more overwhelming.

4. Stress and Physical Ailments

The feeling of being overwhelmed is one that causes increasing amounts of stress. This stress eventually takes a toll on mental and emotional health, which inevitably leads to decreased immunity and increased sicknesses. The first signs are fatigue, headaches, and cold-like symptoms. These physical ailments further decrease the motivation and ability to tackle the piles of clutter, thus the clutter grows.

5. Cluttered areas lead to Cluttered Minds

As workspaces and living areas become cluttered, the mind fills with ideas, plans, tasks, and locations. Trying to keep mental files organized is just as exhausting as organizing paper files. The more cluttered the mind becomes, the harder it is to relax and enjoy life. Not only does task concentration decrease, but also the ability to concentrate on relationships suffers as well.

6. Decreased Mental Functioning

Immense clutter can actually contribute to symptoms such as short-term memory loss, lack of focus, declining concentration, and reduced attentiveness.
If you are plagued by clutter, do not despair. Taking simple steps each day can help you conquer & throw out clutter and regain your concentration.

Steps to fight and conquer Clutter

  • First, start small. Begin in one room, closet, drawer, or area and work until that space is completed. Don’t try to multi-task. Sort through the clutter, placing it in three separate piles. One pile is for trash to be thrown out, another pile is for items to be donated, and the third pile is for things to keep and store.
  • Next, invest in some organizational tools, such as baskets, shelves, and sorters. Using your third pile, designate what items will go where and stick to your plan. If the task seems overwhelming, enlist the help of a friend.
  • As you complete each room, make a plan to do a regular room sweep and get rid of or find places for any new items.
  • Remember that getting organized takes time. Be patient with yourself, and don’t forget to take time to enjoy the results of your labor.

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So, according to you which other ways does clutter affect your concentration ??


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