If you’re trying to organize your mind to reduce decision fatigue and information overload, then you need to make sure that you organize the space around you. In many ways, our spaces are a reflection of the state of our mind – but actually the correlation works both ways and if you have a very cluttered desk or home it will make your mind more cluttered too.
And when it comes to spaces that contain a lot of information and items, your desk is one of the most pressing areas for the organization. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to make your desk better organized.
Throw Things Out
This is really how you start making any space more organized – you throw out anything that isn’t 100% necessary. If it’s a decorative item, then ask yourself if it really fills you with joy. If not? Bing it! Otherwise, ask yourself when you last used it and whether you really need it.
The same goes for that drawer that’s full of stationery. Do you really need that much stationery? Could that space not be much better used for other things?
Create a System That Reflects Your Brain
Another tip is to create systems that you can use to keep your documents in order. And a great way to get inspiration for this is to look at the way our brains store information.
Specifically, our brains have three main ‘compartments’ for storing information. These are:
Working Memory – which is the information we’re currently working with and doesn’t necessarily need to be stored.
Short Term Memory – which is the information we hold for a few days. If it doesn’t get used enough it will be thrown out, if it is important, it will be stored in long term memory.
Long Term Memory – which is the information that we have stored permanently. Nothing gets destroyed here but access can become more difficult without practice.
So how do you create something similar to this? Simple: you make one space for each type of information.
Your ‘working memory’ could be your noticeboard and desk itself. This is where you keep anything that you’re currently working on and need immediate access to.
Not using it anymore? Then it goes into short term storage – somewhere like a paper tray.
Then, at the end of each week, go through your short term storage and move anything important to your ‘long term storage’ and throw out the rest.