You may have seen and ran away from a million and one blog posts advertising the value of organization, neatness, and de-cluttering as it relates to your productivity, mental state, and ability to leverage opportunities. I will steer away from the clichés because I think I bring a unique perspective to the debate (if only because I’m a slob by nature and fight every day against my lower tendencies).
Ask anyone who has known me between the ages of 1 and 26 and they will tell you I was one of the messiest people they have ever met in their lives. While I was never close to making an episode of “Hoarders”, you would never have been able to take a look at my home, office, or vehicle without being deeply disturbed at the kind of condition I kept all of those places in.
I was always a knowledge-seeker and a spiritual enthusiast, so there was never a lack of advice from books, blog posts, and wise counselors who constantly reminded me that there is a direct correlation between how organized we keep our living spaces and what is going on inside our minds. I always understood I could do better (and frequently tried to), but I refused to believe that being messy somehow disqualified me from building a company, inventing a product, writing a play, creating a website, or doing anything that could bring me success and abundance. At the end of the day, time spent cleaning and organizing is time wasted in building, there are always maids that can be paid, and let’s not forget Albert Einstein (messy genius who neatly inserted his name in the history books). Why are we discriminating?
I could not have been more wrong. I don’t have the authority to say that people who have cluttered living spaces, cars, and offices cannot succeed in life. There are no absolute truths and there are always exceptions to rules. There is, however, something I can say with full authority and conviction:
Constantly cleaning and decluttering your physical environments increases your likelihood of succeeding in manifesting your dreams.
If you believe in stacking the odds in your favor, if you think there is value in increasing the chances of success, and if you are of the opinion that fewer obstacles are always a good idea, you better make sure you clean your shit up and incorporate decluttering as a daily habit (even if it is a struggle to do so).
While your physical environment does not directly affect your ability to do your best work and be successful, it does have an incredibly strong and direct effect on the thoughts you hold in your mind, your ability to spend wisely, and your overall capacity of prioritizing your time and increasing your productivity. All of those things can block or lead you to the successful realization of your dreams.
Let’s illustrate that with a simple example:
Johnny is building a website on the side as a pet project, and has three hours of coding to complete each night in order to reach his ultimate goal over the next six months.
When his apartment is cluttered his thoughts go something like this:
“I need to build the first function and google some examples on GitHub, actually I think I wrote down a few important links…where the hell is that notebook? Damn it, I don’t even know what I’m supposed to wear to work tomorrow. I forgot to do laundry. That kitchen is filthy, I don’t have time to wash the dishes right now so I’ll just order in. I was supposed to save $50 a month in order to finance this website but I’ll make it just $30 this month so I can pay for dinner tonight, then I don’t have to wash dishes. OK, never mind, it is only going to be $10 because I need to go to TJMax and buy a new shirt to wear to work tomorrow.”
Is this a good enough picture for you?
When you’re messy:
- You spend more
- You waste time
- You are always in a crappy mood
- You cannot pay attention to what matters
- Save more
- Prioritize their time
- Attack obstacles with a positive attitude and uplifting thoughts
- Have far fewer distractions
Isn’t it ironic? We always say we don’t have enough time to clean and organize, when avoiding those tasks actually decreases our amount of free time.
Think you don’t have the personality for it? All I can say is I was messier than you. It took me five years to get to where I am (and am nowhere near where I want to be or should be). A neat freak will still tell you I’m a messy guy (and my family and exes will laugh real hard at this post). But I’ve made tremendous progress, and can already see the results with real evidence.
I’m accomplishing more, focusing more, and am overall less stressed. I’ll tell you three things about me that I know are also true about you:
- I don’t give up when I fail to build new habits, no matter how many times I fail.
- I refuse to protect habits which will hold me back from having the career and life of my dreams.
- I always go after what I want.
Glad you agree![icegram campaigns=”379″]
Andrew Gabelic is the CEO & Founder of Teledipity, a free pocket life coach with an eerie ability to send you the right self-improvement content at the right time (based on your personality and life stage). Check out what it says about you!