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Chris LoCurto

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October 29, 2013

What’s Killing Your Creativity [Podcast]

October 29, 2013 | By | 14 Comments">14 Comments

Creativity and focus come from having a clear mind…and your desk! If you are in need of a mental refresh, listen to today’s Coffee With Chris podcast!

Subscribe to the podcast:          iTunes  Stitcher Radio  SoundCloud

When your office is a mess, whether it’s paperwork scattered across your desk or unanswered emails junking up the inbox, your subconscious is cluttered. Here’s what I want you to do:

  • Tell your staff or co-workers you’re going to clean your office.
  • Pick a Saturday to actually clean your office and go through everything.
  • When you find something you need to be working on, put it in a place where you’ll get to it immediately.
  •  When you find something you don’t need to be working on, delegate it.
  • When you find something irrelevant, throw it away. Get it out of your brain and your subsconcious.

Once you’ve done this and see how effective it is, have your team do it as well!

Question: How has cleaning your office effected your productivity, focus or creativity?

 

 

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  • justinrdr

    Strangely, I’m in an opposite mode of thinking. Though clutter stresses me, I’ve needed to learn to be okay with chaos because I am uprooting a perfectionist mindset. Too much chaos and too much order thwarts creativity, it seems.

  • http://www.janabotkin.net/ Jana Botkin

    Chris, thanks for adding to my reasons for loving to clear out clutter.

    Back in college, my roommate asked me if I was stressed out. When I asked her why she wanted to know, she said, “Because you are cleaning out your closet again.”

    Clearing out clutter is also one of my favorite procrastination activities.

    Is there an opposite mental disorder of hoarding? I just might have it. (my poor husband. . . )

    Remember, “Stuff is the junk we keep; junk is the stuff we toss.”

  • Steve Pate

    AAAAmen to the cleaning of the office, but mine is a 40′ x 80′ shop slash office, I will rarely start a new project if my shop is not clean after the last project. And I thank my grandpa for that habit. Every Saturday as a kid my job was to clean his small shop and I’ll make sure I pass this one down to my son.

    And at least once a month I get into dump mode and what a liberating feeling it can have for you!

  • Llewellyn Martin

    Amen! Great podcast! I first learned about this process on YouTube listening to David Allen… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHxhjDPKfbY I’m still trying learn how to implement it in my life, but every time I clear my inbox and categorize my cluttered desk I realize how important it really is!!

    • Ken Trupke

      Llewellyn,
      Thanks for the link!
      David’s “Getting Things Done” (#GTD) techniques are still really effective, even as technology has moved us from desktop email to mobile email to texting.

  • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

    I totally believe in this Chris.

    I recently deep cleaned my office and it made a world of difference. My office is in what used to be a bedroom in an old home near downtown Ft Wayne. It’s literally more than 100 years old. It’s dated and was kind of dirty. Not messy ( I am fairly organized ), but dirty.

    So we deep cleaned it. Took about two hours. And it made a HUGE difference in creativity, productivity, happiness, etc.

    Next…we got permission to repaint it. So Tara and I are going to paint it, put in a nice chair for reading, put up some more artwork, etc. It will be the best $2000 I’ve ever spent on my business (or so I hope)

    • http://www.janabotkin.net/ Jana Botkin

      Artwork? More artwork?? Good for you, Matt!

  • Nick

    I do HVAC by trade and so I live out of my service van. Man! try cleaning out your truck of all the spare parts or material you’ve saved. I’ve started doing this every one to two weeks just to take inventory and remind myself of what I have. I remember saving so many things for a future service call, but then forgot it was on my truck and bought a new one from the supply house. I’ve also found tools I’ve forgotten about and after cleaning said, “Wow, I forgot I had that tool. I really needed it recently and the job wouldn’t have been so difficult if I’d had this.” It’s also good to clean out my front cab of all the service manuals of specific equipment, troubleshooting processes, service bulletins, and service tickets. When I know what tools and resources I have, my productivity and creativity stay up and I give my customers better service. Really enjoyed the podcast! It reminded me that it’s important to do this!

  • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

    Thanks for the great ideas. Definitely going to apply them at home! I need to declutter a lot of our living space and I’m sure I won’t accomplish that in one Saturday morning. I’m making progress at work with that. Very true that those papers staring at you will rob you of your sleep at night.

    I’m enjoying a cup of Dillanos myself and I don’t know what is best, starting out my day with good coffee or hearing you speaking Spanish ;0)

  • mkokc

    Great stuff Chris! I’m a fanatic about Inbox Zero, but sometimes that means piles and messiness IRL! Time to tackle all of these cups of coffee to get my head clear. Keep up the awesome work. – mike

  • Brian Hosan

    Great advice Chris. I lead a small creative team and the clutter is constantly piling up, but we definitely notice how our perception changes every time we clean up!

  • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zech Newman

    Thanks Chris. Simple yet a huge struggle for me. I am cleaning on my next day off:)

  • Mark J. Sebast

    During the week if there are items that are “for the future” or “to be thought about” or just ideas that flash across my mind I throw them into my “Saturday Pile” and Saturday morning I pull them out, put them on my desk, and observe the “once you touch it you have to finish it” rule …. and it’s either completed or delegated for completion by somebody better equipped. The result for me is that Monday morning I already have a planned direction I’m heading … and it makes all the difference.

  • KTEWSON

    Another great reminder for me, Chris, especially today. My inbox and office work looks similar to the mess of things that race through my head at night and keep me from sleeping. Productivity and creativity have been effected for sure!