With spring upon us, if you're like most, you’re probably gearing up for your annual spring cleaning bonanza. Something about spring, whether it’s the air or the sounds of birds chirping, makes us want to start fresh and organize our stuff to declutter our lives. With that in mind, many of us find that even after all of our hard work, it’s difficult to stay organized even a few days after cleaning.
This year make the habit stick. Here are a few tips you can use to enjoy a clutter-free work environment all year long.
Essentials Within Reach
How much of the stuff on your desk do you actually use on a regular basis? Clutter can negatively impact your life by causing distractions, stress, and even anxiety. Many of us fall into the trap of having too much on our desk, thinking that we’ll need that stack of files, memo book, or collection of old coffee cups at some point (we won’t).
Instead, cut out the clutter and keep only what you need to get your job done within reach. For most, this probably includes your monitor, computer, keyboard, a lamp, pens, and a trusty coffee mug. You should also look into cute desk sets to give your office supplies a colorful, organized home.
Enough Is Enough
Ready to draw a line in the sand and proclaim your commitment to having a neat, clean workspace (hopefully) forever? It all starts by limiting what items get the privilege of staying in your workspace. Some items like a cute pencil pouch are essential for work, but other things like your collection of bobble heads might not belong there. Stay true to only keeping what you actually need on your desk and you can enjoy a more minimalist, productivity-inducing workspace.
Face “The Drawer”
You know which one we’re talking about. We all have “the drawer” where anything and everything is thrown in and forgotten about. Ask yourself, is there anything in the cluttered drawer that is important to you or useful? If it is, it probably wouldn’t be in “the drawer,” so unless you really want to hold onto those three soy sauce packets and pair of broken headphones, it’s time to purge your junk and keep only what you need.
Declutter Your Digital Life
Do you use your email inbox as a to-do list? You're not alone, but just as papers strewn about your desk can be stressful, so can a cluttered inbox. Create a system and folders to organize your emails just as you would paper files. Once you can clear your inbox and put every email in the right place, getting back to people is less daunting, and it's easier to stay on top of everything. You can even do this sorting automatically by adjusting your settings in your inbox.
Build the Habit
Finally, the secret to keeping your workspace neat and tidy year-round is to make cleaning a habit. As you shut down your computer for the weekend on Friday afternoon, take a few minutes to tidy up your desk, toss any trash, and disinfect your work area so you can return to a clean desk Monday morning. It only takes a few minutes and is a rewarding way to end the workweek (plus it makes the drag from 4:50 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. go by much faster too).
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