I want to officially welcome you to the season of rebirth, Spring. There’s a feeling of excitement and anticipation that always accompanies this time of year in my home and business. I invite you to notice the the same phenomenon in your life. Clearing out the old and ushering in the fresh and new.
Let’s take a look at how the concept of Spring Cleaning can be powerfully applied to you and your all important workspace. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got an office job, a sales job that has you working from your car or if you work from home, keeping an organized workspace is very important for your emotional well-being and your ability to work efficiently. Let’s face it, it’s not always easy to pay attention to cleaning and organization when you’re focused on important deadlines and other priorities. The result, a cluttered and messy space that robs you of optimal performance and satisfaction.
Here are simple “Spring Cleaning” tips I invite you to try on. You’ll thank yourself later!
1. File away your paperwork. Paperwork can get out of hand fast. Spend 5-10 minutes a day sorting through your paperwork. File important papers away, and shred any personal documents that you won’t need anymore. Put loose paperwork into a filing system and keep folders for any paperwork that you’re currently working on. As new papers come in, try to handle with them right away, instead of leaving them on your desk for later.
2. Clean your work surfaces. Once you’re finally able to see the bottom of your desk, you need to take advantage of the opportunity to clean the surfaces underneath the old clutter. Also, take time to clean all of your desk items such as staplers, pens, and paper trays. And ask yourself if it’s time to part with any of these items. Less is more!
3. If you haven’t made your business contacts digital, it’s time! Simple as it sounds, this can make a huge difference. Start a list of all your business contacts somewhere on your computer, such as your address book in your email. Keep track of their business name, photos, phone number, mailing address, and email addresses. This way you can toss out their old business cards that may be piling up on your desk. If I can’t add someone to my to my contacts, I’ve recently started taking a picture of that person’s business card on my smartphone so that I can circle back to it later without holding onto the physical card.
4. Deal with old reminder notes. If you have post-it notes all around the office (like me!), sift through them and throw out the ones that no longer apply. Reorganize them by priority, or make digital files to keep track of them. Post-its can become like wallpaper fast, blending into the background and going unnoticed. With important reminders and those things you want to prompt yourself to keep front of mind (think, a new more empowering thoughts) rewrite your message using a bright colored pen and/or bright color post-it.
5. Manage digital clutter. Cleaning your workspace doesn’t apply only to your physical workspace. Is anything cluttering up your computer’s hard drive? Go through your e-mail inbox and delete those you don’t need or file them away.
6. Clean up your computer desktop and delete old files or back them up to an external drive. On an ongoing basis, make it a habit to properly back up your files often, so you never lose important work.
7. Create a maintenance schedule. If spring cleaning for your workspace was a burden on you, it probably means that you let things get out of hand this year. You can prevent this from happening again by routinely doing a cleaning of your workspace.
Again, welcome to Spring. Start the season off on a positive note by creating a clutter free workspace. This will not only have you being more efficient and productive with your work, it is guaranteed to reduce the clutter and stress in your mind!