It’s been nagging at you for months; the overflowing folder or basket with the TO FILE label barely visible, the mountain of papers threatening to collapse at any moment, the collection of coffee cups and their unsightly relative, the dried coffee ring left behind. Although, it’s been on your mind, you justify it by cleverly calling it your “organized chaos”. You make it acceptable by convincing yourself that it’s “your system and it works.” The truth is, you do find yourself rummaging through your pile of papers in a panic for that email or note that you need to refer back to. Perhaps, your boss is asking for last month’s sales report and you haven’t filed it yet so it’s…around….here…somewhere.
You tell yourself “I’ll do it – this Friday”.
Friday comes and Friday goes. But it is no surprise to you. Almost expected, really, as the procrastination has been the ongoing pattern for months.
Who can blame you? The “real” needs of the business required your attention. There’s always next Friday, right? After all, your boss only cares about deadlines, right? You’re wrong.
You’re not the only one who notices the disorganization of your office space. It’s all out there for everyone to see….and judge. It’s true. Majority of workers admit to judging their co-workers by their workstation upkeep or lack thereof. Some interpret a messy workspace as a reflection on the employee. They are viewed as unprofessional, disorganized, sloppy and inefficient. Surely, it was the opposite description on your resume that got you behind that desk, after all.
Here’s a few tips to get you started and back on track while improving your time management and productivity.
1. MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Don’t feel that you need to conquer this task in one day. Go ahead, do it now – open your calendar and allocate one hour every day for a week. Starting this Monday, you have an appointment with yourself to get to a clean slate and freshen up your space. Make this appointment as important and actual as any other meeting with a business partner or customer.
After your week of one hour sessions, you will have created an efficient organization system that is functional and will require 5-10 minutes everyday to maintain. No need to pencil that in.
2. THROW OUT THE TRASH
This part is easy and you’ll be surprised at how liberating it is. Start with the obvious garbage on and around your desk. Get rid of those coffee cups, snack wrappers and crumpled paper that never made it to the waste basket. Look around your workspace, open drawers and cabinets and de-clutter by getting rid of anything you don’t use. If you’re not sure if an item should stay or go, think of when you used it last. If you can’t remember – get rid of it. If you’re not ready to commit, put it in storage or have a miscellaneous area tucked away in a drawer. This may be difficult if you have hoarding tendencies but worst case scenario – there’s always a STAPLES nearby. Chances are, you won’t miss it. Just let it go.
3. BE A PAPER PUSHER
The accumulation of papers is probably the reason you’ve been procrastinating this clean-up. It can be quite the overwhelming task. But like any worth-while project, the hardest part is getting started.
Once you begin the sorting, you’ll be on a roll and before you know it, you’ll be working from a clean slate. This task will make the biggest difference in the look of your workspace and the way you feel in your surroundings. Studies consistently prove that if you feel good in your environment, you will be happier and more productive. Sort through your papers by categorizing them into mini piles:
You will be surprised how much goes to the garbage once you get rid of reprinted emails, redundant notes, and already actioned items.
• To Do
This one is beneficial as it acts as a visual cue to freshen your memory on what is outstanding and it will allow you to plan and prioritize. Now track your To Do’s in an agenda or digitally to get rid of the excess sheets of paper.
• To file
Creating and maintaining a filing system is key to effective organization which makes a significant difference on your time management, directly impacting productivity. You can fashion your system alphabetically or by function. Whatever makes sense to you and your role.
4. GET IN THE ZONE
Now that you can see the top of your desk again, you can start creating zones or designated areas for your items. You have your permanent fixtures; your computer, monitor, keyboard and telephone. Build around that methodically and have regular use items at arm’s length. For instance, it would be convenient to keep your pens near your computer and phone. If more then 2, use a container to keep it organized.
If you need to have particular documents handy, use a tiered file folder stand. This is where you can neatly keep reports and information accessible in folders. It’s a good idea to have your To Do’s or in-progress tasks in a folder close by. You eliminate the loose papers on your desk by getting into the habit of putting your everyday papers away back in your To Do folder and retrieving them each morning.
5. HOME SWEET HOME
Most Canadians spend an average of 39.6 hours at work. It literally is your home away from home. As such, it should be treated with the same amount of care. Have a designated place for everything including your personal belongings and keep it welcoming at all times.
With all the time you spend at the office, the cleanliness, organization and maintenance of it does have a significant impact on your own well-being – physically and mentally.
Final touch – now that you have created a tidy and functional workspace, give a much needed wipe down to clean and disinfect the surfaces you touch regularly.
Congratulations! You have successfully completed that daunting project and created a system that is easy to keep up with. Allow 5 – 10 minutes at the end of your work day, to put items in their place so you stay on top of your clean space and avoid backlog.
Aside from professional regular cleaning and disinfecting, Clean-Way Janitorial Services offers their customers full professional floor care treatments. Especially after a very messy winter, your floors and carpets probably haven’t recovered from the harsh traffic and weather conditions. Traces of salt and outdoor contaminants still lie within your flooring affecting the air you breathe. Consider getting your floors revitalized and looking like new with the expertise of Clean-Way Janitorial Services.
We have specialized in floor maintenance for over 30 years across the GTA with a proven track record for success. Let us help you achieve a clean and healthy office this spring and throughout the year!
Check out our website at www.clean-way.ca for a full scope on our services and commitment to our customers.