4 Reasons Why Your Brain Likes Organization
There’s a reason why people like things organized. It affects how you think, how you respond to things, even how you work. And organization is about so much more than just cleanliness. Here are four reasons why your brain likes organization.
1- Enhances Mood
A study conducted by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology found that women who had described their homes as cluttered and disorganized experienced fatigue and depression more often than women who described their homes as neat and organized.
Disorganization causes stress in numerous ways. Not being able to find your keys can cause you to be late which can spiral your day into a non-productive nightmare. Living in a constant state of disarray causes the stress hormone cortisol to increase in your brain, lowering motivation, memory, concentration, and anxiety, along with interfering with sleep, increasing the risk of heart disease, and potentially causing unnecessary weight gain.
More than that, people with cleaner, less-cluttered homes are generally more active, boosting mood-enhancing hormones in their brain through movement and exercise. Your brain loves exercise, partly because it also loves momentum. Working in a clutter-free environment allows you to focus on tasks, completing them faster, which builds your momentum throughout the day. Hitting these goals releases more of the feel-good chemicals in your brain, reinforcing your activity and reducing your stress.
2- Achieving Goals
Being organized can help you achieve your goals. Beyond having your pencils organized according to size, or reducing the amount of clutter in your work-space, things like creating lists and using a planner, are tools that help organize your time, maximizing the odds for long-term success.
The Journal of Obesity did a study in which they discovered that people who were organized were more likely to stay motivated to finish their goals as compared to people with no plans at all. This includes planning their meals, scheduling their exercise regimens, setting up regular goals, and tracking their progress. Through planning and organization, you will be more likely to reach your goals.
3- Increase Focus & Concentration
Your environment has a direct impact on your ability to form structured thoughts. Simply being in a cluttered or disorganized room pulls your attention away from focused tasks, making them difficult to complete. Researchers at Princeton University found that our visual cortex is highly sensitive, and is overwhelmed when presented with non-task related objects. The more objects surrounding you, the more difficulty your brain has focusing.
In fact, just looking at a cluttered room causes your brain to lose concentration and will directly impact your working memory, lower your ability to make decisions, and deplete your attention span. Too many stimuli weaken our senses. It becomes a lot harder to listen and understand new information, especially when you add stress to the mix… When you are working in a clean room and sitting at a clean desk, your brain can focus, allowing you to absorb information better. You’ll become more focused, both in completing specific tasks and in your overall ability to think rationally. And you’ll make fewer mistakes while working on your tasks.
4- Unlocking Creativity
It’s a common misconception that creative people are more likely to be disorganized. In fact, creative people themselves often argue that organization and routine stifle the creative process. However, studies show that once you’re organized, you can unlock your brain’s creative potential.
Creativity needs focus. And in order to focus, your brain needs to be freed from as many distractions as possible. Organization allows your brain to focus on what’s necessary instead of being pulled into the realm of distraction.
When you have a routine you are allowing several things to occur in your brain. The first is you allow your creative ideas to simmer in the default network of your brain. Researchers have discovered that this default network is where ideas take root, growing from the abstract into concrete form. When you focus too directly on an idea or a thought, you aren’t allowing the default network the space it needs. Often this leads to creativity blocks. Performing tasks and routines redirects your brain’s energy, letting creativity flow.
The other benefit organization offers creativity is turning it into a habit. The brain loves habits, and by sticking to a routine, these tasks become signals that it’s time to be creative. Setting time limits so you can perform other tasks forces your brain to focus intensely on one item at a time and then relax, moving your thoughts into the default network. All of this works together to enhance creativity.
Productivity requires focus. Which may seem obvious, however, focus is easier said than done. One of the most powerful tools you can use to supercharge your focus is to organize your space and set a routine, both at home and at work. There are countless websites, videos, and books with various techniques, tricks, and hints, so you can find the one best suited to your style and needs. Get started today and unlock your full productivity potential.