Our favorite thing about spring: spring cleaning. It’s a way to say, “I’m dusting off the winter blues and coming out of hibernation”. If spring cleaning isn’t your thing, these tips may help you reconsider. Think of it as a periodic check-in to make sure your space feels welcoming and inspiring, rather than messy or overwhelming.
At the office, spring cleaning can take on a whole new meaning. It is a chance to reorganize and refresh your workspace and your workflow. Plus, organizing will actually improve your overall focus and work performance. Don’t believe us? Read on to learn why.
Benefits of an organized space:
- Improved time management. When everything is in its rightful place, your workflow becomes more efficient.
- Fewer things fall through the cracks. It’s easy to forget important tasks and projects when there’s no system in place to keep you on track.
- Less clutter looks more professional. Your workspace is a reflection of you! Whether you’re at home or in the office, having a clean space is key.
- Increased focus. Spend more time accomplishing goals and less time focused on decluttering your inbox or trying to find your to-do list.
How to start spring cleaning at work
Our pro tip: bring in a fresh element to inspire the process, like fresh flowers, a small succulent, or a new desk plant. Indoor plants and greenery are proven to have amazing benefits in the workplace, like improved employee happiness and productivity. Plus, they have the intangible benefit of helping you feel renewed excitement about your workspace.
Next we’ll break it down into three key areas to focus on: physical, digital, and mental organization.
Organize your workstation
Let’s start with the physical – your immediate workspace. Think about the nature of your job and how your desk or workspace needs to function. Keep that list in mind to make sure your refreshed space will improve workflow, rather than hinder it.
Take a look at everything in your work area and group like items together, either by function or by project. Do you have notebooks, files, and stray documents littered about? Organize everything into piles on the floor so you can see it all in one place.
Throw things out.
Get rid of unnecessary items and additional clutter. If it’s not something you use frequently, you probably don’t need it!
Put things away.
Now that you have your piles, it’s time to put everything in its place. Put your most frequently used items within reach, and less frequently used items in drawers. Your actual desktop should only have items you use everyday.
Keep decor to a minimum.
Things like fresh plants, a nice coffee mug, or a family photo are fine, but excess personal or decor items will introduce unwanted clutter. Add personal touches with organizational items instead, like file organizers and pen holders.
Organize your digital workspace
We don’t often think about digital organization in the same way we think about physical organization, but it can have an even greater impact and may even improve operating speed. Here are our digital organization tips.
Organize your files and delete what you don’t need.
Peeking at your Downloads folder can reveal the motherload of digital clutter. Create filing systems that make sense, save individual documents to folders, and use consistent file names. Remember to stay patient because this step will take time!
Tidy up your email inbox
If it’s taking you hours every day to sort through emails, you need a better system. Get your inbox under control to increase productivity and mental clarity. Set up automatic filing systems, utilize folders, and only keep to-do items in your immediate inbox. You’ll thank us later.
Every browser has a bookmark option! For the sites you use most, set up shortcuts to save time. Allow your browser to stay logged in or safely store passwords and other data to cut down on time hunting for login credentials.
Find a Project Management app you like
There are many free apps and programs to try out. Ask your team if they’d be interested in trying out Asana, Monday, or Click Up, and start using it as a digital to-do list and project tracker. Assign tasks to team members, create timelines that sync with your calendar, and check things off as you complete.
Find Mental Clarity
After tidying up your physical and digital space, your mental focus will immediately follow suit. Mental clutter can pile up when you have too much going on, and a disorganized space will only add to the stress. When working in a dysfunctional space, it is normal to feel as if you’re on information overload or that you can’t focus on priorities.
The time and energy you spend on organizing your workspace will naturally refresh your mental outlook. Our other tips:
- Take short breaks throughout the day to reflect and reset
- Journal or take physical notes to help your mind focus
- Zoom out to think about the big picture
- Focus on one thing at a time, rather than trying to solve every problem at once
This may seem like a long list, but give yourself a week to get through it all and experience the difference organization can make on productivity, moral, focus, and workplace happiness. To get your team involved, send out daily goals for a week focused on spring cleaning and inspire employees to share their tips and organizational secrets. Happy cleaning!