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A Cluttered Office Is Like A Hairy Swimmer
by Robyn Bentley
MP3 Audio Version

Two swimmers are competing in a race. They both have the exact same ability but one's body is completely shaved and the other is very hairy.  Which one is going to win the race?

A cluttered office is like a hairy swimmer.  Just like body hair creates resistance in the water for the swimmer, clutter creates resistance to the natural energy flow in a room and creates "stuck energy".  Stuck energy causes procrastination, lack of motivation, a feeling of being in limbo or being stuck, confusion, and even depression.  This is not about being neat and tidy. It's about drag and flow.  Clutter slows you down and makes it more difficult for you to accomplish your goals.  Clutter is distracting and makes it harder for you to focus.  Clutter in your office can hold you back professionally.  When you are working in stuck energy and things just aren't happening for you like they should, you can start to doubt your own abilities and hate your job.  Clutter can also make your boss and co-workers think negatively about your abilities and you may be passed over for promotions.  Of course you can be a successful business person and have a cluttered office, but you’re not going to be as successful as you could be.  So why hold yourself back at all? 

Being organized means being in control.  How much time do you waste trying to locate things in your office? The average desk worker wastes 3 hours a week "looking" for things. Professionals spend 5-15 percent of their time reading information but up to 50 percent looking for it.  When you are more organized, you are more productive. When you are more productive, you are more successful.  You flow through your workday with ease.

Are you a hairy swimmer? Then dive in. Tackle that big pile on your desk by going through it every day for 15 to 30 minutes and put everything where it needs to be.  Soon there will be no pile.  Have a place for everything, and keep everything in its place. Go through your files and toss out papers you don’t need.  Just keep a few things on your desk like your pen, message pad, phone, computer and put away the other things you don’t use often like the stapler and tape. 

You don't have to tackle it all at once -- that might be too overwhelming.  But pick a day to start chipping away at what you have amassed.  Start with your desktop, a drawer or a certain file and little by little you can conquer your clutter monster.   And don't forget that you are doing this for YOU - not your boss or the company.  This is to help you be more successful because less clutter at work means fewer obstacles on your career path.

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