Reading ‘Atomic Habits’ (an extraordinary book on replacing bad habits with good ones, written by James Clear), I came across a simple yet effective method to clean up after myself. This is something I always had struggled with.
The problem is… a messy room, is a messy mind. The more clutter a space has, the higher the cognitive load it places on you. Unconsciously your brain takes mental energy to find structure amidst chaos.
This is why it often feels as a relief when you clean up the house.
That’s not even taking into account the pressure it places on the relationship with the people you’re living with! I wouldn’t be surprised if the lack of cleaning up after oneself is the leading cause of frustration in a romantic relationship. Not all of them survive it.
An occasional big clean up helps, but its impact is often temporarily. If you don’t change your daily habits, the room (and your life!) will clutter itself up not long after that big clean up.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to always feel motivated to clean up the small bits after yourself? Well… there’s a mind trick to just do that and it’s working wonders for me!
It’s called ‘Resetting the room’.
Whenever I walk into a room that’s part of my personal living or working space, I make the promise to leave it behind better than it was before I walked into the room.
Before I leave the room, I ‘reset’ it. I make it ready for the next time I’ll be walking into that room. It’s like a game.
I’ll make my bed after waking up, so it welcomes me at the end of a day of hard work. I’ll clean up the sink and toilet while waiting for the shower to warm up. I’ll do the dishes while and after I cook, so I don’t have to do it after getting lazy on the couch. I’ll wipe the whiteboard in the meeting room at work after using it, so the next person can use it right away.
It’s one thing less to worry about, and one thing less to argue about if you share your living space with others.
Give it a try!
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