​​7 Habits that Will Help You Feel Less Cluttered

Clutter kills productivity. It really does. And that does not only work productivity, but general life productivity.

But the clutter that hinders us isn't only physical clutter – the tangible mess that we can all too easily create in most aspects of our lives. It's also the feeling of clutter… that feeling of just not knowing what to do, where to start, how to start…

So, what are the best ways to deal with all this clutter?

Well, tangible clutter is a little easier to deal with, purely because it's tangible. We simply need to invest the time in cleaning, organizing, deleting… and gradually we can get through it.

The feeling of clutter, on the other hand, can be harder to manage, purely because it's intangible… it's about the way that you do things. And it's about all the different things that you try to do.

For me, the physical organization comes easily (in fact, it's what I thrive on!)… but that feeling of clutter? I know it well. Too well… which is why I've spent so much time trying to find ways to manage it. And the good news is, there are lots of things you can do that will help.

So, here are the top tips I've found (and tried!) that will help you feel less cluttered – both in your digital and non-digital spaces.

1. Plan your to-do list strategically.

The to-do list is the number one cause of “clutter stress”. We all have one, even if we don't actually call it a to-do list. Well, that's the biggest tip: acknowledge that you always have a list of things you need (and want) to do, and get strategic about it.

Then, here are my top tips for transforming your to-do list from Argh to Ahh!

  • Write it down. Rather than just keeping a “mental note”, start to write it down… and use a pen and a journal, rather than creating another digital note. Physically writing things down makes it more “real”, which in turn makes you more accountable, helps you stay organized, and gives you much better clarity on what you need to accomplish.

  • Use a proper journal. You can of course use any kind of notebook for your to-do list, but I really recommend using something specially designed for the job. They come with prompts and tips, and make it an enjoyable act rather than simply a task. I use the Dailygreatness journals and think they're brilliant.

  • Track your tasks. Journal what you did in your day so you can see where your time is actually going. This is a great way to identify where you can better use your time.

  • Keep a digital calendar. Paper calendars are nice, but they're just not efficient. Online calendars can be synced across all your devices, and are accessible by others, so there's no risk of forgetting to add something and missing it! And makes booking meetings so much easier.

  • “Mega batch” your time. This term is from the book Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt (which I highly recommend!), and it's basically about batching all your similar tasks into a group and doing them at the same time. For example, I now schedule all my meetings and calls into just one or two days a week, which leaves the rest of the week free for my “head-down” work, without any distractions.

2. Be a digital minimalist

The digital world is great, but there's almost too much out there now, so it's super easy to get completely cluttered and overwhelmed with digital excess.

  • Reduce the number of accounts and subscriptions you have across all digital platforms. The less you have, the less time you need to maintain them. And in all likelihood, you probably don't actually use most of them.