April Showers Bring…. Spring Cleaning!

In today’s world where some of us spend more time in our office then in our home, it is important to start widening our definition of spring-cleaning to better include all aspects of our life. When thinking about spring cleaning, it is important to include your workplace as well as your closets, garage and car. The workplace cleaning should include the physical workspace as well as digital and mental. All those extra hours logged at your desk can mean clutter builds, food crumbs get lodged into keyboards and dust gathers.

Physical Space
The desk is the home base at work and usually suffers from the most ware and tare during the year. The first thing to do is clear the desktop. Now this does not mean just shoving things on the top of your desk into a drawer or file cabinet. This means going through each stack of papers, files and sticky notes to see what is still a priority, what is now finished and what can be shredded and thrown away. Go through your pen cup and toss any old pens that are dried up or out of ink. Test the staplers, tape dispensers and printers to see if they need to be refilled.

Once the top of the desk is finished, it is time to move onto the drawers, filing cabinets and under the desk. This may seem unnecessary, but you would be shocked to learn how many pairs of heels, old conference merchandise and missed trash can accumulate over time! After getting rid of the clutter, you may realize there is a need to create a new filing system or organizational system to help keep what is left on the desk organized. Some great resources for this are The Container Store, Office Max/Depot and West Elm.

Digital Space
The same way our desks get cluttered, our computers get filled with old downloads, pictures and outdated software. A digital cleanse can help free up space on your computer and create a new system that is easy to follow and keep organized. Start by deleting old files, emptying the download folder, archiving emails and consolidating last years files into one 2014 folder. Next, perform a general software update and update the bookmarks in your preferred web browser. As a proactive measure, create templates for often used documents and keep them in an easily accessible folder.

Mental Space
The hardest part about spring cleaning is making sure we are not just physically in a good space, but also mentally. The first item that will help make a great impact on your mental happiness at work is to create a to-do list. We all have a few items that seem to always appear on our to-do lists and then never get them done. This is your chance to get them crossed off your list once and for all! Now that we are well into the New Year, it is great to reprioritize your work goals. Were you goals from the New Year overly ambitions? Or maybe they were not ambitious enough and you have already surpassed them. Now is the time to take an honest look at where you want to be by the end of the year and create goals that will help you achieve them. Last but not least, and certainly the most important in my book, is scheduling downtime for yourself. Don’t just look to the next few weeks, but schedule downtime months in advance. This will ensure you actually take the time you need to relax, recharge your mental and physical well-being.