George Carlin — ‘A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.’
With the start of summer growing closer, getting your office and home organized is a priority for some and more of a pain for others. I take pride in being the organized one (both at work and in my personal life) but was taken back when my executive walked by my cube area and said jokingly, “Ahem, you might consider clearing off your desk and what’s with that pile of boxes that have been sitting there for more than a year?” He might have been teasing, but it shamed me into action. First impressions are so important, and I don’t want to be defined by my cluttered desk or collection of random stuff spread out for all to see. Here are a few Points of Wisdom (POW) to help you move past procrastination and reflect an attitude of pride of ownership for your domain:
POW #1 – First things first. It’s round-up time for your “stuff” and though overwhelming, clutter is nothing more than procrastination saying, “I’ll put it away later.” Don’t over think the task of cleaning and clearing. If you are hesitant to remove anything, pledge to “declutter” your workspace by at least one item per day to help focus your body and mind on accomplishing the task.
POW #2 – View your landscape and visualize a clean desk, organized files and what your workspace would look like clean and fresh. Unlike my husband – who cleans up his clutter by putting it all in a box or drawer for future ‘whatever’’- I encourage the rule “If you haven’t looked at it in over a year, toss or give it away.” My husband likes to box his “stuff” up and then relocate it to MY office. You can see that I know firsthand, that simply doesn’t work.
POW #3 – Organize by thinking about how you work and what could make the process easier and more efficient. If switching gears from reality to the virtual world (over the past few years) has taken the papers off your desk but overstuffed your electronic inboxes and computer desktop, it’s time to address the issue. It’s also likely your IT Department will ask you to clean up and clear out those inboxes, so get ahead of the request and start tossing. Remember, if you haven’t seen or read it, or it is just junk mail, dump it! Still can’t make up your mind, put it into an archive email box meant for important messages.
POW #4 -Take a hard look at your browser. If you’re opening dozens and dozens of tabs in a workday, try to decide which ones are essential to your job performance, which ones are used on a periodic basis, and which tabs are time wasters. Pare down your options to job essential tools and important resources, remove time-wasters or reserve them (if enjoyable) for use during breaks or after hours on your personal devices. This may not be clutter your peers can see, but it’s clutter that slows your workflow nonetheless.
Once you’ve taken steps to tidy up your office space and streamline your actual desk, and computer files, take a moment to feel the “weight on your shoulders” lift, then pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer, who was an administrative professional herself, and her teaching style is grounded in authentic office experience. AdminUniverse™ can help you improve yourself, widen your skill set, and advance your career. Connect: email@example.com. http://www.adminuniverse.com