Friday, 17 March 2006

Freedom from clutter

I've read a couple of times about the importance of clarity of mind in attaining focus and optimal level of performance, and how this can be easily achieved by removing clutter.

In secondary school, I heard someone told me to treat our study or work space as the sejadah (praying mat). I'm not sure if he was hinting at making our space sacred, but I can't say I've seen any sejadah that is crowded with stuff, other than maybe some tasbih or telekung or maybe some serban. Regardless of that, I'm pretty sure he meant to say that we should clear our space of any unnecessaries.

For ages I've been subscribing to the thought that if my space is messy and full of stuff, it means I'm working on something. It may not be the most eye-pleasing thing to look at in the room, but at least I feel that I'm not idle and there's always work waiting to be completed. 'I'm a continous worker', 'a man at work', 'work in progress', blabla. Or so I would like to believe.

But for couple of days now, I'm doing the exact opposite. There's nothing on my work space except a notepad for me to write down the stuff that needs to be done. And the feeling is amazing.

When people say seeing clutter creates clutter in the mind, they're weren't kidding. It's astonishing how a clear and empty space creates a sense of calmness and the drive to do things with more zeal.

I think this form of thinking arises from looking at the clear space. It somehow conveys the potential that you have in front of you (should you attempt to do your stuff). When the clutter is gone, you seem to experience a heighten level of awareness, which helps you to focus better. Plus when you clear off stuff that are finished (before tackling a new one), you're indirectly telling yourself that you've accomplished something already. This can motivate you to take on new challenges and propel you forward in what you're doing.

Clutter not only gets in your way, it also creates anxiety because of the worriness that comes from not knowing exactly where your things are. In order to feel focused, clarity of thought and the desire to accomplish targets, you need to have an organised system for your materials (files, stationaries, books, etc.). Organisation will help give the reassurance that you can work without worrying where to find the things you need.

I'm also learning that doing something opposite your routine can really lift your spirit up. I'm starting to even consider riding a horse everyday to school. Anyone knows a good used horse dealer?


dzul said...

lol Shahrul I don't know why, but I keep having this imagination of you riding a horse like an ancient warrior in my head after reading the last paragraph in your post. XD
Anyway talking about cluttered living/working place, it has always been the problem that I need to tackle >_<. Its been weeks ago when I told myself that I need to tidy up my rooms and computer table. But still things is still the way it was for days which has passed and it is definitely not helping when my brothers and sisters is adding up the mess here and there, :/ although I am the real contributor :P. Cleaning and rearranging things is not the real problem, instead maintaining it the way it was once you fix up the place is the hardest thing to do haha. -_-

rollie said...

Hehehe. Actually the whole horse thing was brought up by my cousin. She told her dad, "Bah, I want a horse for my birthday.". He nearly fell off the couch when he heard that.

I may have somewhat conquered my desk clutter, but I still to the handle my Windows desktop clutter. It's full of things I've downloaded: papers, PDFs, installers, etc; and they're really starting to make my desktop look messy. The reason I put it there is because I wanted to remind myself about them to read or do something about them later. Now after months, it has turned into a sea of icons (and not a pretty sight to look at by the way, especially when you have a gorgeous wallpaper in the back).

I learn that if re-clutter your clutter-free space, it's easy to fall back into the clutter mode. Since you share your space with others, try to work a way around the 'dumping' stuff issue. Maybe you can invite them to try to be clutter-free for a few days and see how it works out. Wallahua'lam. All the best, bro. :D

dzul said...

haha horse for a birthday, what a girl. Actually I think horse is scary lol. There's something about their faces that make me feels like they've got some evil intentions inside their head. Beside aren't they one of those animals that got attitude problem? Haha, anyway enough with my paranoia, I wonder why did you place those word verification for comment posting?

rollie said...

Ini semua porn spam comments punya pasal. Occasionally I would turn on this feature to discourage them, but they usually come back.

I know it be an inconvenience to some. I apologise. I don't enjoy comment spams. I wish there is a feature that allows me to track down and electrocute the spam sender by simply clicking the mouse. I should suggest this to Blogger.

Anonymous said...

dia tgk my little pony tuu...
I never get to see the surface of my desk.Y?Becos there are so many things on the desk itself. I never get the time to actually tidy it up. Hate to admit this but it is really at ease whenever the desk is clear.
Amazingly, we always know where everything is, but dun ever try to tidy it up for me, or i'll never find my things again! -bennie-

rollie said...

Hi ya, bennie.

My little pony? I used to like that show, along with the Potato Head Family and Glow Friends. Especially the 10+ episodes Glow Friends story arc where they get together (the whole 'kampung') on a quest to find the last Moon Drop lake. 'twas awesome, IMHO.

Like what what I told dzul, I have a rather clear desk but a very cluttery Windows desktop. Everytime I start the PC and see the desktop, I feel 'serabut' inside. But when I look at my desk, I feel that I can think clearer. Allahua'lam.

IeNa said...


Your idea to ride a horse to come to school is very funny hehe. Made me laugh hard here hehe.

I have problem on my desktop also coz i used to save my 'incomplete' files on it so that i'll keep reminded what are the things that i need to do, but i guess it did really make me more mess up. One better solution that i can think of and currently doing is to complete whatever tasks that i need to do asap and then put it in respective folders, it works better for me :)

rol said...


I think as long as you have a system that works, you're good to go. But a system is not only supposed to organise our stuff but also keep aware of what needs doing and where to find the things we need. The problem with Windows folders is that we can't view the content without opening it. It would be good if for example we have folders that can give us the list contents just by rolling our cursor over it. That would save a lot of time used to open folders and windows to find the actual the stuff we need.

IeNa said...

agree agree :)

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