I’d never seen moldy coffee before. But there it was. An innocent example showcasing the disrepair that place was when I arrived, and not to brag, but I cleaned that place up quite well. Between that, my time moving furniture, knolling, 5S methodology, and philosophizing on the psychological dependencies of clutter, I’m becoming better at cleaning up the crap… I mean, clutter. Let’s run through six ideas I came up with while cleaning my workbench.
Clutter kills creativity. When you’re working on any project, your momentum can easily be distracted by the time you spent looking for a tool or that note you took. I have a constant need for things to occupy certain spaces – it’s compulsive really – so curbing the clutter on my couch counter should cut down on distraction. This is my primary writing area, after all. I can then apply this mindset to other clutter prone areas.
I’m coupling my Weekly Rowing column with workspace infrastructure updates. My primary focus will be improving my “judgement free zone” office I’m calling “Zeal,” because just like how exercise improves your internal motivation and physicality, tidy workspaces improve your external motivation and productivity. Clutter in body, mind, or space can prevent action, so let’s start with the heartbeat of this whole operation: my whiteboard. “Always on,” it’s a constant reminder to check the next box.