Well it’s official! Spring is here and I can finally see my front lawn again. The snow piles have melted and now everything that the cold winter had hidden is now quite visible again (including some pesky fall leaves that I didn’t finish raking in November). As such, spring is a time of new beginnings and clean-up. Of course everyone’s backyard needs sprucing up, but don’t forget to clean up some items at work as well.
First things first – take a look around your workspace. Are there indiscriminant piles of paper everywhere? Old water bottles that need to be recycled? Pens that no longer work? Well, there’s no better time than spring to take thirty minutes and clean up. Go through those stacks of paper and shred or recycle what you no longer need. Throw away those old pens, put some new pictures up in your cube and sanitize your desk, keyboard, phone and computer mouse.
Secondly, are you overwhelmed by your email inbox? Well here’s your chance to clean it up! First, create folders for emails that you want to save for future use. You can easily sort your inbox by keyword, sender, and date, so take a few minutes to create folders for co-workers, projects, job openings, etc. Take any emails that need to be followed up on, and either add a task to your calendar, or add a priority flag that reminds you to take care of this item shortly. Delete any emails that you really don’t need anymore. Although your mom’s happy birthday email to you from three years ago was very sweet, you can probably delete it and free up some memory on your computer. While you’re at it, delete all those old voicemails that are just taking up space on your cell phone and work phone.
Spring is a great time to start over and clean up, both at home and at work. Having a neat, organized work space will help you become more efficient during your workday, and will help you focus better on the tasks at hand. Plus, you’ll thank me when you find that report that your manager’s been looking for since January hidden under those piles of paper.