Clutter increases stress - Deepstash
Why pandemic stress breeds clutter—and how to break the cycle

Why pandemic stress breeds clutter—and how to break the cycle

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Clutter increases stress

Clutter increases stress

"Cleanliness is next to godliness," theologian John Wesley said in a sermon.

When we see clutter, we can't think of anything else until it is dealt with. This feeling has intensified as more people have had to live and work at home. Researchers confirmed that disorganized or cluttered workspaces seem to increase stress and anxiety.

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Your divided attention

Many people are not good at processing clutter. It can become overwhelming and make our brains do more work to complete tasks.

The more stimuli we receive, the more the brain has to filter out the necessary. When you remove the competing objects, focusing becomes much easier, and productivity increases. Clutter can cause our bodies to release cortisol, the stress hormone. Long-term exposure to clutter can result in chronic stress.

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A mess is a mark of creativity

  • Lawrence J. Peter famously asked, "If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?"
  • Albert Einstein had a messy desk, so did innovative thinkers, such as Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs.
  • One study confirmed that students working in disorderly spaces came up with more creative ideas than those in clean areas. Clutter then causes more stress for some people, while others can cope with it.

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Mind over clutter

Organized, comfortable areas that feel inviting make for more productive environments than chaotic and messy ones.

If cleaning up is difficult, one can implement a strategy of mindfulness. When you notice you're having cluttered thoughts, ask if you really need to be thinking about that now? Could you write it down instead? The people working from home best might not be the neatest people, but they have trained themselves not the react to the distractions.

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