For some, working from home during the pandemic has been a blessing in disguise. From eliminating long commute times and increasing productivity levels to taking control of more aspects of daily life, remote work has proven to be a positive experience for quite a few employees during this unusual year.
Unfortunately for many others, the long-term departure from the office (on top of the anxiety-inducing effects of the pandemic) has left them feeling isolated, unmotivated, and mentally cluttered.
Much like junk drawers, kitchen cabinets, and storage closets, our minds can easily become a cluttered mess—which means they need a bit of tidying from time to time to maintain a balanced headspace.
Fortunately, if your thoughts are in a chaotic jumble due to COVID-19 and your new remote work environment, Safeguard Self Storage is here to help. With this guide, we will teach you how to declutter your mind while navigating your work-from-home experience. By doing so, you can stay mentally and emotionally sharp as we wait for society to return to normal.
1. Start a Journal
One of the easiest ways you can start decluttering your mind is to keep a journal. Whether you reach for a pocket-sized notebook or a few sheets of ruled paper, hand-writing your negative thoughts—including jotting down quick notes or creating a bulleted list—will help you get rid of mental baggage and clear your mind for daily work-related tasks.
According to the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, journaling reduces intrusive thoughts about negative events while improving your working memory. In fact, researchers believe these improvements free up cognitive resources for other mental activities, including our ability to effectively cope with stress.
Other benefits of journaling include:
- Prioritizing problems, fears, and concerns in a clear manner.
- Tracking and recognizing triggers while learning better ways to control them.
- Identifying negative thoughts and behaviors, as well as opportunities for positive self-talk.
You don’t have to be an expert writer to get the mental health benefits of journaling, either—so don’t hesitate to write whatever you feel without worrying about proper sentence structure or grammar.
2. Reduce News and Social Media Consumption
While staying informed about the pandemic is a good thing, too much news and social media consumption can leave your mind in a cluttered tailspin. Between spending multiple hours online each day for work and a constant flow of content from every angle, it’s easy for negative news cycles and social media posts to clutter your thoughts and even trigger depression.
Thankfully, many smartphones offer features that allow you to limit social media app use daily. For example, on iOS devices, you can use the “Screen Time” feature to set app time limits—making it easy to track how much you are interacting with platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or any news application every day.
In addition to spending less time with social media platforms, it’s important to make the right decisions when it comes to media consumption. Only follow reliable news sources for important updates and avoid click-bait articles with catchy headlines that are from unknown sources. Also, unsubscribe from unnecessary news subscriptions in your email, and do your best to organize your inbox.
3. Take On One Task at a Time
While working from home, you likely have a lot on your mind. With work-related tasks on top of looming household chores or personal errands, it can be easy to get lost in multitasking projects that do more harm than good.
If you are constantly bouncing back and forth between different tasks in an effort to complete them faster, you could be adding additional clutter into your mind—meaning your limited attention span will make it difficult to focus and absorb information. In fact, according to research conducted by the Stanford Memory Lab, heavy multitaskers actually have a reduced capacity for memory.
Rather than allowing unnecessary multitasking to cause you to stress or impair your cognitive control, try to focus on a single task at a time. To help get you started, make daily checklists that begin with your most important task and end with your simplest task. This will allow you to devote all your mental brainpower to each item on your to-do list while avoiding debilitating mental clutter.
4. Streamline Your At-Home Workspace
When it comes to mental clutter, your physical workspace plays an integral role in your ability to maintain a well-balanced headspace. If your at-home office or workstation is filled with excessive stimuli, unorganized clutter, or physical distractions, your mind could be working overtime—even when you’re trying to complete simple tasks.
No matter if you are working from a kitchen table, desk, or breakfast bar, you should declutter your main workspace as soon as possible. Begin by getting rid of all unnecessary or non-essential items from your work area, as well as giving your essential items a proper place.
Clear up unruly piles of paper, take old coffee cups to your kitchen sink or dishwasher, and make sure you have plenty of space for your computer and other essential work materials. As you continue to work from home, make it a point to organize and clear your workspace every day prior to tackling your assignments.
Let Safeguard Help You Declutter Your Mind
At Safeguard Self Storage, we know the importance of having a clutter-free mind—and oftentimes that starts with having a clutter-free workspace. If you are new to working from home and you don’t have a designated, organized office area, our selection of contact-free self storage units can help you clear out space for one today.
Find your local Safeguard facility today and start taking control of your remote work environment during the pandemic.