Why Mental Clutter May Be Hurting Your Productivity

| Women's Health

Between all of the things you have to accomplish during your day, like kids, work, school, lunches, dinners and sports, it may sometimes seem hard to check things off your to-do list. You've got so much on your mind, you may feel like you aren't accomplishing much of anything. All that mental clutter may be holding you back from being more productive. Physical and mental clutter can impact your productivity during the day. Frances Booth, contributor for Forbes, asks, is mental clutter sapping your productivity?

Messy Desk with To-Do Notes

How many things are you thinking of right now? While you read these words, what else are you thinking of? Are you also reading a news feed, or looking at a stream of updates at the same time? Are you running a mental tally of all the emails you’ve read and need to reply to? Are you composing or half-composing text messages or emails in your mind? Or is your mind free, clear of all clutter, concentrating only on these words?

In a recent series of blogposts about How To Be More Organised, [Booth looks] at ways to deal with the clutter in your work life. But as an extension of physical clutter, mental clutter also slows us down, and stops us from being as productive as we could be. Many of the same issues apply, such as searching for a piece of information we need. Whether this is in our mind or in a physical filing cabinet, when things are cluttered, this takes longer.

A big problem with mental clutter stems from the fact we often try and do more than one thing at once, and don’t fully complete tasks. So our attention is split across a number of open tasks we have on the go. For example, say you read your emails first thing in the morning, but reply to none of them. Then you turn to a task you have to get done. It’s likely that you won’t be able to focus fully on the task. Cluttered thinking will be be getting in the way.

To read more about how to "unclutter" your mind, check out the original story at Forbes and regain your productivity. It will feel so good to accomplish more during your day and clear your mind of clutter!

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