In one of our recent posts, we discussed the importance of habit in keeping a clean and organized lifestyle. While it is true that good habits ultimately allow us to achieve this kind of lifestyle; did you know that there is something even more important than habit in this process?
Before we can even begin to look at our habits, the first thing we need to examine is our thoughts. Conscious thought is point-blank our most powerful tool. Psychology tells us that conscious thought processes are intentional, controllable, and accessible to our awareness. So, when we act intentionally; to move, to eat or drink something, to sit down, stand up or speak – each of those actions is powered by thought. What this means is that we can use conscious thought to continuously remind ourselves to stick to clean and organized behaviours. The reminder does not have to be big. It does not have to be complicated. In fact, the best reminders are probably going to be the simplest ones. It all depends on what specific goal we are trying to achieve.
In the case of home cleanliness and organization, say for example a person’s particular issue involves an extremely messy desk in their home workspace. There are books everywhere, old receipts, loose change, paper, memorabilia and all sorts of material that cause visual distractions. Why would this happen? Because this person is not consciously thinking about where they put things after they use them. With just the barest amount of effort put into being more mindful – or aware – about where they put things, this person could have a clean, organized and productivity friendly desk within a few weeks.
Another great idea is to write down the goal for our particular thought. In the case of the messy desk, write down “Remember to store items properly after use”, or something similar on a sticky note. The text should be large enough to draw attention. This serves as a visual reminder, which could be the kick our brain needs in order to adopt the new train of thought.
Of course, there are difficulties. It is very easy for the brain to get lost when our focus is elsewhere. What we call ‘going on autopilot’ is actually our brain slipping into a habit loop (again tracing back to that last article) while it uses the conscious thinking power for something more demanding like what our plans are for the evening or mentally working through the list of chores we have to get done before our guests arrive on the weekend. This is how messy desks happen. Simply due to not paying conscious attentions to our actions in the moment. Fortunately, reversing the ‘damage’ is just as easy as being mindful, and acting on that mindfulness. Conscious reminders like the sticky note mentioned above are beneficial, though it does not necessarily have to be a visual reminder, as each brain functions differently and according to its own needs.
Of course, if cleaning and constant reminders just do not work with your schedule and time constraints, think about taking your cleaning needs to professionals like us! At Maidstr, we are committed to professional, efficient and personal on-demand home cleaning for homes in the Toronto and Guelph areas.