Do Some Spring Cleaning at Work
Spring means flowers, longer days and — of course — spring cleaning. And let’s face it: work is that much harder when you’re buried in paper, files and tasks. We can’t make all your work magically disappear (sorry), but we can offer a few suggestions on how to keep yourself organized.
- Clean your desk. There’s no greater waste of time than searching through a mountain of papers to find the one printout you need. And being surrounded by clutter while you work won’t help your stress levels. Throw out what you don’t need and file what you do.
- Clean your desktop. Now, do the same thing on your computer. Having 83 loose icons on your desktop isn’t doing you any favors; drop everything into an appropriate folder.
- Inbox zero. And while we’re on the subject of folders, it’s time to clean out your email, and arrange messages based on project, due date or whatever system helps you best. The ultimate and totally achievable goal is to have *all* your email sorted.
- Rethink your to do list. There’s no getting around it – you’re not going to check off every item in a single day. So prioritize: list one big project, three medium tasks and five small things you can reasonably finish. If you don’t get to something, cut yourself some slack. Tomorrow is a brand new day.
- Maximize your commute. Just because you’re traveling to or from the office doesn’t mean you can’t also get some work done. If you take a bus or train and need dependable Wi-Fi, you might want to invest in a mobile hotspot. (You may even be able to get your company to cover the cost.) If you drive, don’t text or answer emails — safety first — but making a few hands-free calls can save time later.
- Schedule breaks. It may seem counterintuitive, but allowing yourself time throughout the day to eat, go for a walk or even chat with a coworker will give your brain a chance to rest and make you more productive.