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Out of Sight - Out of Stress

Visual Clutter Can Mess with Your Mind

  • Are you one of those people who leave papers on your desk to remind you of tasks to be done?
  • Do you allow messages to fester in your inbox, so that you won't forget to handle them?
  • Do you stack files on your desk to make sure you deal with the jobs related to each?

Danger!Your entering the VISUAL CLUTTER zone... A place where all these reminders detract from your ability to focus on the job at hand. Of course you have great intent - you don't want to forget the task or jobs that relate to all those reminders. But let's be real, here. Aren't they just stressing you out? Aren't they slapping you in the face with everything else you have to do? Aren't they distracting you because you're worrying about when the heck you're going to get to that task?

I've done several workshops on Nantucket on how to manage your inbox, and I am continually amazed with how many people have hundreds, (some have thousands) of messages left in their inboxes. When they open their email inbox first thing in the morning, instant stress! They see everything they're not going to get done that day, staring them in the face. (If you want more tips on how to handle your inbox, visit http:/  The same thing happens with a cluttered desk. Or a cluttered retail counter...

The more visual reminders of all of your work, the more stress potential you have.

The solution: Get it out of your sight!

There are so many ways to eliminate visual clutter, just use your imagination. The point is... get it out of your sight! Plain and simple. That is the message here... When you recognize that visual clutter can add to you stress, you are on the road to reducing stress by simply doing things that take the visual clutter out of your line of sight.

Here are some tips:

  • Work with a clear desktop. When you are finished working with a paper or a file, put it away.
  • Place files or papers¬†you know you want to work with in a 'work to be done' drawer
  • Move email messages related to task you need to do to an e-folder labeled "action"
  • Close down your email inbox or CRT while working on an important project.
  • Rely on a reminder system such as Franklin Covey Planner or Daytimer to remind you of tasks rather than papers or files
  • Work on a project at the library or your favorite coffee shop

There are many more... how about sharing some of them with our readers?