September 10, 2011

Distraction-Free Zone

A place for everything and everything in its place.
Yesterday, we decided it would be prudent to physically extract ourselves from the distractions that tempt us to procrastinate.  But why should we move in order to focus?  Why can't our desks be a bastion of serenity?  An oasis of peace?  An island of focus?  A tree of... OK, that's enough.

In case you need some scientist to tell you that a clean and organized workspace helps you focus, then here you go: a study.  And those aren't any scientists, they're from Princeton so it has to be awesome science...  I don't mean to brag, but I've actually met some people who went to Princeton, so I must be awesome by association, right?  I digress.

The bottom line is that the more stuff you have in front of your eyes, the more time it will take to process any one piece of information. Thus, reducing stuff in your face will free brain-juice to focus on other, more important stuff.  So, clean up your desk.

Distraction-Free Zone

Task: Clean up your desk.

Info: How you get organized is up to you, but I recommend to go through everything piled on your desk and be ruthless about throwing things in the garbage.  More and more I realize that I don't need to save that much stuff to get the job done.  I have been a neat-freak before about filing everything in a super-duper system.  But, I soon realized that I rarely open most files.  So, if you're on the fence about anything... Repeat after me: "in da' trash."

Goal: Enjoy 1 hour of productivity on your newly cleaned desk.

Please don't argue with me that your messy desk is some expression of your individuality.  I don't care what your homunculus says.  Are you a rebellious 13 year-old again?  If you want to express yourself, get organized, get focused, and get a ton of incredible work done.  Rock on!

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