Day 6: Let go of the “shoulds” and do what works for you

Brian Tracy, the celebrated success coach whose specialty is time management and productivity says that if you work in an office you spend 8 hours a day at your desk, 5 days a week, 48 weeks a year. That is a total of 1920 hours a year.

You would expect the office to be a hub of productivity, but for many people, this isn’t the case because their workspace is disorganized and their desk is cluttered.

Brian Tracy popularized the great time management maxim that the key to productivity and success is to work from a clean desk, and in an organized workspace.

Just as an excellent chef cleans up the entire kitchen before and after cooking, you should organize your workspace completely before you begin your work.

This is an excellent suggestion that works very well for many people. However as with all things, it’s important to recognize that we are individuals with a unique blueprint and that one size does not fit all.

How many times have you heard that “a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind?” Take a look at these desks of these famous people.




Recently, a study at the University of Minnesota, found that people with a messy desk were more prone to creativity and risk taking, while people at cleaner desks tended to follow strict rules and were less likely to try new things or take risks.Dr. Vohs and her co-authors concluded that “Disorderly environments seem toinspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights.”

Let’s recognize that one man’s clutter is another man’s stuff. Good stuff. We may have a different relationship to our stuff at different times. There are times in my life where I thrived in my cluttered office. I alone knew where things were and I was highly productive in my environment. Now, clutter overwhelms me. It affects my focus and makes me less effective. When I’m working at my desk, I create clutter, but at the beginning and end of the day, a clear desk soothes and relaxes me.

As Albert Einstein quipped;

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then is an empty desk a sign?”

The important thing is to create a space that works for you, using tools and ideas that serve you. Let go of the “shoulds”. Don’t judge yourself or others and don’t be rigid in your ideas. Trust your instincts about what you need and what works best for you.

To your uncluttered soulspace!