Spring is here and it’s time for all things fresh and new. Planning a spring clean at home? What about at the office at large or just your personal office or your cubicle? Can you see your desk under all those piles of paperwork? Can you find what you need to get your job done?
Research shows that a clean work space can help boost your productivity and enhance your creativity. Want to clear your head space for the season ahead? Start with your desk:
- Set a time: If you’re very busy at work (as most of us are), you will probably put off cleaning your desk with the excuse of ‘no time for that right now’. But you need to prioritise this task if it’s going to get done. Block off a solid hour in your calendar and commit to completing the clean in this time. Close your laptop, put your phone away, and focus.
- Start fresh: Take every item off your desk and out of the desk drawers and place it on the floor. Now you have a clean surface to work with. Don’t allow anything back onto or into your desk that you don’t absolutely need and use on a daily basis. The perfect desk has lots of free space – imagine the calm you’ll feel if all you see when you sit down at your desk is your computer, desk lamp, and an orderly in-tray.
- Stationery, stationery, stationery: Go through all your office supplies and place the items you need in and on your desk in suitable containers. When sorting through your stationery, ask yourself – how many pens or coloured highlighters do I really need? Keep one of each item as well as a back-up and store, donate, or recycle the rest. Make sure that what you do keep actually works – inkless pens and broken staplers must go!
- Divide and conquer the paperwork: At this point, you should be left with paperwork, everything from invoices to work materials. Divide these into three piles – to action, to file, and to recycle (or throw away if you can’t recycle). Take the ‘action pile’ and divide it further, organising it by date or urgency and placing it in an in-tray on your desk so it’s the first thing you see in the morning. Then, file or recycle the rest of the paperwork – do it now! You’ll feel so much better for it.
- Tackle your ‘other’ desktop: On that ‘paperwork’ note, you should clean up your email inbox once every 6 weeks to keep things neat and tidy on the electronic front. Don’t let the emails pile up so that the task seems insurmountable. And don’t forget to tidy your electronic desktops as well – file and delete – and you’ll sure to feel more in control.
- Add the good stuff: A clean desk is sure to inspire you to tackle the work ahead but, just because it’s clean, doesn’t mean it has to be cold or clinical. Kick-start your creativity with a trendy mousepad, colourful pen holder, or fun family photo – a bit of colour and some fun imagery can make you smile and feel a bit more creative.
When your desk is all clean and organised, you can relax, take a deep breath and get back to work. Or think about tackling the rest of your office space which is a bigger ask but also necessary for a happy, productive work environment. Need help maintaining a clean office? Consider hiring a professional cleaning service like Superclean to keep your office spring fresh day in and day out.