If you’re like us, this time of year is one of our favorites. The warmer days, the blooming flowers, the longer hours of daylight – for these reasons and many more, the season of spring offers a healthy overdose of rejuvenation and endless potential. Everything is coming alive again, making it the perfect time to wipe the slate clean and start fresh in many areas of life.
This year, we’re taking spring cleaning to the office. You know that feeling of accomplishment that floods over after cleaning out the junk drawer at home or dropping off a couple bags of clothes to Goodwill? Well, we believe that feeling of achievement can be felt in other areas of life as well.
Since most of us spend the majority of our week at work, whether in our home office or in a downtown city building, this area of our lives should not be neglected when it comes to spring cleaning.
Here’s a step-by-step process to refreshing your workspace.
1. Clean your physical workspace. Does your desk look like a tornado hit? Do you have piles of paperwork you’ve pushed off to the side in the hopes that one day you’ll find the time to look through it all? Well, that day has come.
First, go through everything and toss (recycle if you can!) what you do not need. You’ll be amazed at how much space this will free up. Then, sort the remaining into separate piles, and file it away in the appropriate place. If are a sticky note happy person (no judgments here; we are too!), it’s time to take them down. Open a Word doc on your computer and put each note into one list, save it to your desktop, and then say goodbye to your beloved sticky notes.
Once your desk is cleared of the clutter, it’s time to pull out the dust rag and wipe everything down – the surface of your desk, computer, printer, stapler, you name it. Sitting down to a fresh, clean and de-cluttered workspace will feel GREAT.
2. Go through your email. Though our email mailbox is not a physical space, a cluttered inbox can weigh on our minds. Create a few folders in your email account that cover the main categories of most of your email correspondences (ie. family, medical, work, etc.). Next, go through the messages that cannot be trashed and file them under the appropriate category. The best way to keep on top of this is to organize your inbox daily. Whenever you check your email, trash what you don’t need and file what you do – all it takes is one click of the mouse and you’ll never fall behind.
3. Run a scan on your computer. It’s probably been months, maybe even longer, since you’ve cleaned your computer. Not only could this be slowing down your work flow, but it can leave you feeling overwhelmed with the amount of unorganized files that you have. Which leads us to step 4…
4. Go through your files. This may seem like a large task, but it’ll be worth it in the end, and, if done properly, you’ll be finished in no time. Start by deleting the items you no longer need. Again, you’ll be surprised at how much this can be! Begin by opening your folders – Documents, Pictures, and Downloads are the most used ones. For PC users, press and hold Control and click away. (For Mac users, press and hold Command). Once you’ve selected all you want to delete, simply right click and say goodbye.
Next, organize your files. If you have random items in your Downloads folder that can be categorized in your Documents or Pictures, go for it! Again, though this isn’t a physical space, but if left messy and unorganized, it can become frustrating when searching for a particular file.
That’s it! Four easy steps to freshening up your workspace, no matter where you work from. Now grab those dust rags, block off an hour, and get down and dirty.