Unorganized environment causes you to expend mental energy on stress
Prime the pump
February 28, 2020

Unorganized environment causes you to expend mental energy on stress

Do you find your work environment draining? Every often I give my office a spring-cleaning, otherwise, the build up of clutter makes me sluggish.  A Princeton University Neuroscience Institute study found that a messy, unorganized environment causes you to expend mental energy on stress, which increases your exhaustion.

Over the past weeks we have been discussing directed attention fatigue. Today, we refer back to Norma Nazish, ForbesLife Contributor article ‘How To Overcome Mental Fatigue, According To An Expert’. Dr. Alice Boyes, former clinical psychologist and researcher-turned writer, shares the following strategies that can help ease mental fatigue:

• Stay organized. Both your physical and mental space need tidying up from time to time. Getting rid of all non-essential stuff is crucial to stay focused, motivated and productive. The best way to keep things organized without feeling overwhelmed is to assign a proper place to everything and clear up the mess right after you’ve finished a task. For instance, organize your desk every day before heading home.

• Be realistic. Make a list of important tasks you need to accomplish the next day, before going to bed. Keep the to-do list simple and realistic. This will keep you from over committing, ensuring you have enough time to check off all the items on that list.

• Batch tasks. “Do repetitive tasks in bulk so you don’t have to do them often,” says Dr. Boyes. “For example, if you have enough space, buy things like office supplies only once every few months rather than doing these types of tasks more often than necessary. Or, print out multiple copies of forms rather than each time you need one,” she suggests.

• Rethink the way you expend your energy. “Move from being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff to working on systems that will help permanently reduce stress and excess decision-making,” says Dr. Boyes. “Have backups where forgetting would otherwise cause stress.

• Learn how to tackle rumination and avoidance. “People who are heavy worriers tend to believe that worrying helps them make good decisions. However, rather than helping your problem-solve, rumination and worry usually just make it difficult to see the forest for the trees,” Dr. Boyes points out. “Rumination can be about minor issues, it can also be more heavy-duty self-criticism,” she says.

Other than that, eat healthy, exercise regularly and get enough sleep.

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