Spring is a time of renewal. Flowers start to bloom, the grass grows again, and we shed our winter clothes for lighter, softer garments. It is a tradition in many homes to also take care of cleaning the windows, drapes, bedspreads, rugs, etc. Apply the same renewal to your office.
With only a couple of months into the New Year, it should be easy to clean up.
First, look at your immediate work environment, your desk. Have only items on your desktop that you need everyday: telephone, planner, computer, writing items, action files. Anything else you keep on the desk would depend on your job functions. Papers should be filed in the appropriate filing system. Current projects should be housed in their own system, perhaps an expanded file folder. If you have a lot of sticky notes surrounding you, can you consolidate them into a to-do list? Are contact numbers logged into a contact system?
Second, look at what surrounds your desk. Those items should also be kept to a minimum. They might include a tickler file, active file cabinet, and printer. Are those items located so that you can work efficiently without getting out of your chair to do something? Check to see if the tickler file has been managed efficiently. Have the folders for each day been cleaned out as used and rotated to the back of the file? Is the pending folder checked periodically? Does your active file cabinet hold only active files, not archive files?
Third, check your office supplies. Are they housed together? Are you low on some and need to replenish any? How about the receipts for those supplies? Are they logged into your system for tracking expenses? Are invoices up-to-date?
By maintaining your work environment on a daily basis, you can avoid the build up of clutter that very quickly becomes overwhelming. At the end of the day, clean up your space and get it ready for the next day. This should take only a few minutes. Check your planner to see what the next day’s schedule is and if you are prepared for any appointments or other activities. You should feel calm and under control, not overwhelmed or stressed. If daily maintenance is not possible, try at least every week or month.
Happy Spring Cleaning!