Some jokingly say that a clean desk is a sign of no internet connection. That may get a chuckle, but for some it’s no laughing matter. A messy and cluttered workspace can create an internal sense of disarray and hinder your efficiency and productivity. And it can extend beyond your personal area, especially if you share space with coworkers.

Springtime is all about renewal. It’s the perfect time to spruce up your work environment, maximize space, and make it conducive to your optimal efficiency. A clean and organized workspace feels good, promotes success, and enables you to achieve your professional and personal goals. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are four simple tips to help you charge into spring-cleaning mode.


Cleaning can feel like a chore. Avoiding such a task is natural. It’s time for a paradigm shift here. Think of the end game. Imagine how you’ll feel when you’ve purged and reorganized and you’re more productive because you did. Treat this task like an important personal appointment – doctor, gym, etc. Make it a priority and schedule it on your calendar. Block out time that you know will be free of interruption and stress. Consider coming in earlier, staying longer or carving out some time on the weekend. It’s akin to good self-care.


#2 START SMALL Getting started can be overwhelming. It’s a daunting task when you look at your entire messy area. To overcome the inertia, break down the task into small pieces. Start with one small area – your desk, your filing cabinet, etc. Pick the easiest task or one of the trouble spots. It might be straightening the personal items and scattered materials on the top of your desk or reorganizing your middle file drawer. Once you’ve accomplish your first task, take a breath and feel the satisfaction. Seeing your progress should motivate you to keep going.


There are probably some items in your workspace that don’t serve a purpose. Take a few seconds to pinpoint those things and get rid of them – old slips of paper, broken pens, anything that can be tossed. After the first pass, take a second look. Determine when you last used a specific item. If you can’t recall, remove it from your area. Whatever is left over, carefully discern what to keep, discard or recycle. Only hold onto things that will make you more efficient and improve your productivity.


Think about the systems you use that are no longer effective. Do your hanging file folders need revamping? Would a drawer organizer be helpful? Sometimes clutter piles up because of company policy that no longer tailors to the current needs of the office. For instance, you may have a stack of documents on your desk that require shredding, but the one designated container for the office is full. Maybe it’s time for a second container or a new system. Create systems that work for you.

Once you’ve made the commitment and started the process, the immediate results will be remarkable. It’ll put a spring in your step and undoubtedly make you more productive when all is said and done.

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