Bringing Spring Cleaning into the Workplace
Spring finally started this week, and even though the weather has some catching up to do in the Seattle area (we are still experiencing cold and dreary weather in my neck of the woods), you can start doing some spring cleaning around the office while you wait for the weather to catch up. Just like you surface clean and deep clean your house to kick off this season, the workplace also needs to be freshened up; however, while the term “spring cleaning” may conjure up images of feather dusters and Lysol wipes, it has an entirely different meaning at work. As you start your spring cleaning, take a look at the following areas that you can both surface and deep clean in the workplace to ensure that the warmer months bring increased productivity.
Surface cleaning in the office is more than simply wiping down your desk and spraying some air freshener, it is physically setting yourself up to be more productive by organizing, decluttering and simplifying the areas you work in. Here are some areas that you can start on to kick off your spring cleaning this year!
If we are all 100% honest with ourselves, most of us have a drawer that for some inexplicable reason collects random objects that we simply want out of sight. From paperclip collections to rubber band balls, these objects get shoved into the junk drawer and often cause anxiety when the drawer is opened. Alleviate some of that anxiety by using your spring cleaning time to organize these objects by using desk dividers, and toss those random items that you have never used (think marketing stress ball) in the trash can.
Have you noticed your office becoming a place where random piles of papers accumulate? If this is the case, it’s time to get those stacks of papers organized! Although there are many options to rid yourself of those pesky piles, I would highly recommend scanning documents and saving them on your computer as well as using a color coded filing system to organize the papers that you need physical copies of in the office. Doing this will help you to declutter your office, as well as make it easier for you to find important documents quickly.
Speaking of getting documents filed away; do you have files on your hard drive that are floating around without a folder? Are the icons on your desktop in a state of disarray? Are the documents on your computer dated and unnecessary? And finally, your email. How many unread emails are currently in your inbox? Take time while you are spring cleaning to go through your files and emails, organize them into folders and purge what you don’t need. By doing this, you will minimize the time you spend finding documents on your computer, thus maximizing your productivity.
Although it is surprising to some, the primary function of the top of your desk isn’t to act as a shelf to set things on or collect piles of paperwork; rather, its primary function is to provide an area for you to complete your work. Clutter can lead to distractions and anxiety that lead to decreased productivity. So instead of piling everything on your workspace, reduce the amount of clutter by only having the essentials at arm’s length on your desk and everything else organized and filed away neatly.
If you are interested in taking your spring cleaning a step further, consider deep cleaning around the workplace. In order to deep clean, evaluate the areas of your position that could use some freshening up this spring.
As you finish surface cleaning, start deep cleaning by reflecting on your mindset about work. Have you fallen into a negative mindset? Or perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Take the time to identify your mindset and determine if it is causing a barrier in your productivity. If it is, find solutions to reset your mindset and give yourself a more positive outlook on your position and your company. One possible solution is to talk to your team about supporting you in your role, or in a project that you are struggling with.
Have your responsibilities recently shifted at work? If they have, or if you are struggling to complete all of the tasks you are currently responsible for, sit down and make a list of all of your responsibilities and prioritize them. Not only is it important to prioritize these responsibilities but it is also important that you brainstorm ways to accomplish those tasks so that they add more value to your day (while taking up less time). As work responsibilities grow and shift, make sure that you delegate tasks or ask you team for help to stay on top of your work and maintain a high level of productivity.
If you are like many Americans, you set your New Year’s Resolutions back in January. Like many Americans however, you may have also completely forgotten to work towards those resolutions after January ended. If this sounds familiar, use the beginning of this season to reevaluate your resolutions, edit them, or revamp them completely. If you are one of the few who has already met their goals for the year, take this time to set new SMART goals for yourself: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
Once your spring cleaning is completed, you should notice an increase in productivity and a decrease in your stress level as the clutter disappears. Take a deep breath and enjoy a clean work area and a rejuvenated start to spring!