The phrase ‘a clear space is a clear mind’ has been around for a long time, but it seems to be even more true now. As everyone transitions to working from home and practicing social distancing, it’s tempting to eat all day and never get out of bed. During this adjustment period, it’s important to tailor your surroundings in order to reduce stress and distractions, and help you succeed in your studies!
Why It’s Important
A messy workspace can cause stress in several ways. According to Psychology Today, a cluttered room overwhelms your senses with excessive stimuli. This can cause you to be less creative, constantly signaling your brain and making it hard to relax. The inability to brainstorm or think clearly, coupled with the difficulty to rest your mind at the end of the day, is the perfect recipe for poor productivity. This can amplify stress you may feel from other parts of your life as well. Since everyone is spending their time working and studying from home, it’s essential to keep your room and workspace clear.
How to Spring Clean
One of the most important things is the separation of spaces. Having a distinction between your workspace and your lounging or sleeping space will help you from being distracted while you work. Separating your spaces makes it easier for your brain to switch from sleep mode to work mode and vice versa. It can be as simple as not doing schoolwork while laying in your bed. This may be a privilege for some people, so any way you can make it work will help. Once you have decided where your workspace will be, clear the space as much as you can to remove items that may distract you while working.
This is also a great time to go through your clothes and take out items you don’t fit in or wear anymore. Instead of throwing them out, here’s a list of places that accept donations (once things return to normal):
- Animal shelters: sheets, blankets, towels, office supplies
- Women’s shelters: bras, purses, business attire, cell phones, books
- Thrift stores: clothing, furniture, movies, records, household items
- Planet Aid: gently used clothes and shoes (sends to developing countries instead of landfills)
During stressful times like this, it is easy to be overwhelmed and fall into messy habits as you work or study from home. Practicing self-care by cleaning your working and resting spaces can help clear your mind of any additional stress you may feel. Remember: You can do this!