How Clutter Can Impact Your Happiness & Success

There are a few questions we ask of some of our clients around the topic of “clutter:” 

How productive are you in your job on any given day?

Most clients would respond by asking what is meant by the term “productive,” and some examples include:

  • When you attend a business meeting or when you are part of a task team, do you come fully prepared, or are you ill-prepared because you lack interest or simply do not have the talent or skills to be a valuable contributor?
  • How much time do you spend with co-workers discussing non-business issues or conducting personal business on the phone or Internet instead of performing your duties?
  • Do you find yourself daydreaming?
  • Do you spend time thinking about what you are going to do after work instead of focusing your energies on what you are getting paid to do?

After hearing these examples, most of our clients admit to spending about a third of their day on “unproductive” activities while at work. That is a lot of time!

Follow up question:

Since you have admitted that you spend an average of 30% of your workweek doing non-business related “stuff,” would you be willing to write a check back to your company to reflect 30% of your gross pay?

The smirk on their faces says it all, “Are you kidding?”

In general, most people want to act responsibly and do a good job. Yet, if the findings from our informal study ring true, then why do so many employees spend a substantial portion of their time engaged in non-productive behavior?

When an employee is spending a substantial portion of his/her time not doing the company’s business, there are deeper and more serious causal factors. Let’s look at some of the more common ones:

The individual…

  • Is in a job that does not match her best talents, skills, or interests.
  • Does not believe in the corporate mission and/or its products and services.
  • Realizes that “something is missing” but is not sure why she is unhappy.
  • Is “stuck” in his role with little opportunity to advance or be involved in more challenging work.
  • Realizes that she made a “bad” choice of her profession.
  • Stays on the job because of financial, family, and other personal commitments.

All of these fall within the category of “clutter.” These factors, real or imagined, leave the employee feeling frustrated. If the situation is not resolved, employees inevitably become less committed to their work, and the natural consequence is that productivity diminishes.

One of the first steps in helping clients take responsibility for their actions is to have them understand how their “clutter” impacts their happiness and performance directly. Secondly, our goal is to help them see that they can minimize the clutter and oftentimes get rid of it altogether. With the clutter removed or reduced, the individual has a greater sense of “clarity.” And we know from our own life experiences that clarity leads to making better decisions.

Ready to take the next step in getting rid of clutter in your life and finding true happiness? Learn more about Core Themes’ unique four-phase methodology that has helped numerous people discover their true passion and purpose.