Working in the creative industry, it comes with the territory that one can be stereotyped as messy.
If you reject the image and regularly declutter, good for you! But if you embrace the notion, revel in the clutter of your workplace, well we’ve got some talking to do.
We understand, being messy is part of being creative. We’ve all seen the headlines that are basically some permutation of “yes, according to science, creatives are messy” or “a messy desk is a sign of genius.” But with the decluttering movement gaining global traction this year mainly due to its champion Marie Kondo, there are some learnings we can gather that may be of help in both our creativity and our productivity.
Here are two tips on how to to do the KonMari method, the creative way:
Let me guess what’s on your desk: toys for decoration, some novels and art books, scratch paper, and, possibly, a bunch of unneeded documents you probably tossed aside from months back.
Now, tidying up isn’t just about giving you some physical space to work on. Yes, that’s part of the process, but its ultimate purpose should be improving your well-being. It should be about surrounding yourself with things you love, and let’s be honest, does that job order from a year ago fill your heart with happiness?
In one fell swoop, pick through your things, get rid of the objects that don’t feel natural in your environment anymore.
But here’s the twist: who said controlled chaos isn’t tidy? So yes, keep your toys, hold onto that pile of books (apologies to Marie Kondo for the revision), just as long as you are creating a space that your ideal life could fit in.
This isn’t an excuse though to not get rid of anything, but just make sure that all those you keep are items that drive genuine joy to you, are items that maintain a purpose.
Who knows, through this, not only may you be unloading the stuff that you don’t need anymore, but the therapeutic aspect of decluttering may also help you unload those creative blocks hindering you from being productive.
Are you a designer? Are you a writer? Now that many of our work is done online, and with a lot of our storage space is up in the cloud, we tend to hoard digital items at an unprecedented rate. “Save to favorites! Screenshot. Done!” Out of sight, out of mind, right?
But take a look at your desktop, take a look at your downloads folder. You may have saved those pictures and e-books once for inspiration, but do you even remember what they contain today?
Why don’t you go through your files and folders? Check what ideas and concepts still spark joy in you. Does it give you the rush it presumably did when you saved it before? Delete those that feel outdated, and you can’t imagine being of use anytime soon. All those stuff put together maybe an extra terabyte that can be set to better use.
For those files that still feel timely, those that look as they may be the fuel to your next great work, organize them. Put them in a folder, label them, tag them under “to reads this week” or whatever you feel comfortable with.
By tidying up your digital space, not only do you get to save memory and desktop space, but you also get to do a retrospective on the ideas that you may have once genuinely valued.
Whether it’s in the physical or the digital, take all this not just as an act of cleaning up, but a refresher course on rediscovering yourself and your inspiration arsenal.
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