Featured Whistler Question newspaper column, April 4, 2017: Tips to Spring Clean Your Office
The abundance of snow on the ground may suggest that Whistler is still in the throes of winter but, technically spring is here. Along with the arrival of this new season comes a chance at a fresh start with a clean workplace for greater productivity and less stress.
These three steps will get you started.
- First, ask yourself what you want from your office space and decide if your current set up is meeting your needs. Is your furniture ergonomically correct and equipment conveniently located? If not, create a plan to better suit your purpose.
- Once you have a plan, gather or purchase the necessary supplies. If you need a better filing system, buy file folders, labels and whatever else you require so they are handy.
- The third step is to make an action plan and schedule tasks in your calendar.
Simple, right? Once those three steps have been completed, you can move on to declutter and dustbust.
Why You Should Declutter & Dustbust
If you need motivation, this National Association of Professional Organizers survey should convince you. Out of more than 1,000 office workers surveyed, 82 percent said being organized improves their performance, yet 42 percent clean up clutter once a month or less.
And why that matters is that the same survey respondents reported lost time (47 percent), meeting tardiness (16 percent) and missed deadlines (14 percent) as a result of clutter around them.
Tips to Declutter
Decluttering your workspace and computer clears the path to productivity.
One trick is to keep only what you need within your reach. This creates a clutter-free desk to have only what you are working on in front of you and the tools or supplies that help you to achieve that.
The paperless office is a myth for most of us and although you can do lots to minimize paper, a filing system will store it away neatly. Go the distance with colour coded files and a label maker. Yes, invest in a label maker — you’ll never regret it!
Declutter your computer by archiving or deleting files you no longer need. Also keep desktop icons to a minimum so that a more attractive looking home screen greets you and also saves time searching for documents.
The last part of your computer declutter is to empty your email inbox. Digital clutter sucks up your energy as much as physical clutter so read then delete emails immediately. You can search for them later but if that’s too intimidating, at least move emails from your inbox into folders or use a tool, such as SaneBox that will automatically sort emails into a separate folder and aggregate them into a summary so you can focus on what’s important.
Final Step — Dustbust
The final step is to dustbust. A University of Arizona study found that a worker’s desk has more bacteria per square inch (21,000 germs) than an office toilet seat (49 germs) so disinfect telephones, door handles, light switches, keyboards and worktop surfaces regularly.
At the end of this cleaning mission, there will be less stuff and what’s left will be clean and in a place that works well with your space.
I’D LOVE TO KNOW: Do you spring clean your office? What is your top tip?
At Lighthouse Visionary Strategies, Cathy Goddard offers business and life coaching, workshops and the popular Whistler Open Forum Speaker Series. She is founder of Lighthouse Mentor Network, a mentor program nominated for Small Business BC Awards for 5 consecutive years. Learn more at www.lighthousevisionary.com