The Importance of a Clean Working Environment

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Girl, Stop Apologizing" by Rachel Hollis. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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How can having a clean working environment help you feel more in control? What kinds of decorations should you put in your workspace?

An organized workspace helps you feel in control and a messy space will often cause anxiety. According to author Rachel Hollis, cleaning your space and displaying images of your dream will motivate you to succeed.

Here’s why you should take the time to clean your workspace.


The second of Hollis’s three key areas to develop positive habits is cleanliness. She states that your environment is often a reflection of your internal life, and she believes if you want to feel in control of your life, you should start with controlling your space.

Hollis believes that your space should be clean and organized, as well as reflect your goals and vision.

She notes that your space might be an entire house, or it could be as small as your desk at work. Whatever your situation, she instructs you to find the space that belongs entirely to you, and make it extraordinary.

Extreme Organization: A Double-Edged Sword?

Studies have shown that living and working in a disordered space is connected with higher levels of stress, anxiety, inability to focus, and depression. Whether the space is disordered because the person is already suffering from those maladies or vice versa is up for debate and likely to be a self-feeding loop.

However, the need for a clean and organized space to properly function can also be a symptom of mental health dysfunction, such as obsessive compulsive disorder.

In addition to a clean working environment, Hollis advises you to visually display your dream somewhere in your space as a daily reminder of what you’re working to accomplish. This could take the form of images, words, vision boards, and so on.

(Shortform note: Vision boards speak to the idea of the law of attraction (also known as manifestation). The theory is that thinking about something enough will eventually draw it to you. Perhaps the most well-known book on this subject is The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.)

The Importance of a Clean Working Environment

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Rachel Hollis's "Girl, Stop Apologizing" at Shortform .

Here's what you'll find in our full Girl, Stop Apologizing summary :

  • Rachel Hollis's lessons she learned while building a multimillion-dollar company
  • Why "having it all" isn't something you should aspire to
  • Why women need to stop trying to fit society's idea of a "good woman"

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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