Clean desk, clear thinking

RACHEL DUCKER of Apparition Marketing & Design says “de-cluttering” is good for business

THERE is a saying that a tidy house makes a tidy mind, but what about a tidy desk? Can being tidy really have an impact on the way we do business? Though it can be hard fitting in a cleaning schedule around working long hours or running a business, I believe that it makes a huge difference on an individual’s organisation and performance.

When I find myself spinning too many plates, I feel as if an entire circus is going on in my head. When it gets to this stage I need to evacuate the clowns and clear the jugglers from my mind, before I can concentrate on anything else.

We all have our own unique methods of switching off, some of us watch TV, some of us use meditation methods, but my own personal therapy is cleaning. When I de-clutter my surroundings I also de-clutter my mind.

So how does being tidy help my business?


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It is said that a cluttered or dis-organised environment will affect your clarity of thought, so surely having organised surroundings will allow for clearer thought.

One of my major dislikes is “mess”, the feeling of walking into an untidy room with a desk full of papers and clutter, which might also including part of yesterday’s lunch and coffee cups.

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So to make sure this doesn’t exist when I walk into the office in the morning, I always have a complete tidy-up the night before.

This means that I can start fresh the next day putting me in the mind set to tackle whatever comes along.

When working on a computer everyday I often think to myself “why couldn’t I become like a computer?” if only emptying your mind were as simple as emptying the trash can on your desktop.

There is actually a sickness associated with working long hours at a cluttered desk: irritable desk syndrome (IDS). It can cause chronic pain, loss of productivity and other physical and mental symptoms.

On days where I may have been slack, it makes a huge difference to my state of mind. Everything seems to go wrong, I become easily flustered and I would even go as far to say that if mess surrounds me I become very frustrated and agitated.

My nearest and dearest will tell you that I have addiction; they call me a “clean freak”. However, it is an addiction I am proud of, it’s an obsession that gives me plenty of self-satisfaction and I do find it therapeutic.

I have often been compared to as “Monica” off the well-known sitcom Friends. Although this character shows the extremities of “being tidy”, it displays to us that she uses cleaning to gain control of the situations surrounding her.

You could say by using this similar method of behaviour I have adapted a way of having more control over my business organisation.

From what I have observed, it seems that messy people are brilliant at glossing over the untidy situation in which they live. But how can you run a business in chaos – surely you would lose control? Just because your desk is messy it doesn’t mean you are busy and important.

Being tidy is a state of mind, and as we know the mind is a very powerful tool and this ultimately reflects in many other areas of our lives. I believe I have programmed my mind to associate being clean with feeling organised, which his why this method works so well for me in my business.

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