clean desk2
OK, you know that if your desk was more organized, you’d be more productive. And every so often you make time to clear it off…but within a day or two, it’s all cluttered up again.

If your desk is chronically cluttered, here’s the reason why:

It’s because of the programming in your brain.

Your brain is super powerful. Especially your unconscious mind, which is in control about 95% of the time. This part of your brain has a singular purpose…it does everything it can to protect you.

Have you ever put your hand over a candle flame and been burned? If so, the next time you try to do this, your brain will stop you. Those neural pathways have been cemented. Neurons that fire together, wire together. Your brain remembers the pain and takes over to protect you.

But what does this have to do with your desk? Bear with me a minute, I’m getting there.

As strange as it may seem, in its efforts to keep you safe, your unconscious mind will hijack your intentions to have an organized desk! What’s unsafe about an organized desk? you ask.

We high achievers are always worried about forgetting something. (That’s how we got to be high achievers in the first place). You know the saying, “out of sight, out of mind?” Well, if you cleared off your desk, and put things away where you couldn’t see them anymore, you might forget something. And if you forgot something, what would that mean about you? (Your brain will probably answer that question with some craziness that isn’t true: It would be awful! I would be devastated/embarrassed/ashamed!)

In childhood, my brain received programming like this: You have to over-perform to be lovable. You can’t be ordinary. You have to be exceptional– perfect. You certainly can’t forget things. You can’t be perfect if you forget things. If you forget things, you won’t be lovable. Don’t forget anything, or nobody will love you.

Of course, stuff like this seems crazy. But our unconscious mind believes it’s true and wants to prevent that from happening. So it responds like it would if you were to try to put your hand into a candle flame.

I have managed to rewire my brain, and these programs are gone now. That made it easy to implement systems that keep my desk pretty clear and organized. There is hope for you too!

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