Cleaning Boosts Productivity, Improves Physical And Mental Health
I am a procrastinator by nature. If there’s a big job looming large for me, guaranteed I’ll find a half-dozen other less-pressing but suddenly super important things to do instead. Typically those “other things” involve cleaning, which ironically I might avoid any other day of the week.
But as it turns out, there’s some psychology and science behind my need to finish the folding every time worthier work awaits. Research has shown that women with cluttered homes expressed higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol and that clutter can actually make it more difficult to focus on a particular task. Specifically, research has shown that the visual cortex is easily overwhelmed by unnecessary objects. That being said, having a messy work or living space does make it really hard to focus and complete tasks efficiently.
So the next time you’re involved in a frenzied pre-project housecleaning, rest assured — it does serve a purpose. Routine maintenance on keeping your home or work space clutter-free will in turn clear your headspace so you can get more work done and perform everyday tasks to the best of your ability. And having everything you need in its place will only further maximize your efficiency.
But productivity aside, decluttering may also help just help you feel better about yourself because it’s something of an accomplishment in and of itself! As I mentioned, any other day of the week I’d be looking for ways to avoid cleaning chores if it weren’t for a more daunting to-do list to avoid. Studies have shown that overall people with clean houses are also healthier than people with messy houses.
Tidy people also typically experience less stress and anxiety, more inner peace and self-confidence, stronger decision-making skills, improved health habits and even a better night’s sleep! A National Sleep Foundation poll found that making your bed every morning is linked to better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and even stronger budgeting skills. Regular bed-makers also reported getting a better night’s sleep than those who leave the bed unmade.
While on the one hand, good cleaning habits have been linked with improved mental and physical health, the old adage “everything in moderation” still applies. Believe it or not excessive cleaning has been linked with more problematic issues such as anxiety, hoarding, ‘germaphobia’, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). As with so many things, it’s all about finding a balance. But for the vast majority of us this is not going to be a problem. So go ahead — clean your space, clear your head and start crossing off your to-do list today!