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Q: I can’t do real work unless my office is completely in order.
Do you mean you need five minutes to tidy up every morning? Fine. You’re just a conscientious guy – especially if your effort is efficiency-related, such as filing documents. But if the sight of an out-of-place paper can keep you from completing tasks at hand, you may have a problem, says Dr Michael Chmielewski, an assistant professor of psychology at Southern Methodist University. Think about your home life: do you feel anxious if the floor isn’t freshly vacuumed? Do you spend hours cleaning each day? If you’re nodding “yes,” then you may want to talk with a psychologist (find one at Therapist Directory). But if your fixation is limited to office cleanliness, then it may just be an excuse to put off work. Establish a time for tidying up, like the first 10 minutes after lunch, and limit yourself to that window.