Girl…Clean Your Office!
Seems like everyone I talk to lately remarks on how badly they need to clean their work space. It’s easy to let things get out of hand. Files piled everywhere. Books that need to be shelved or even potentially shared. Office supplies stashed everywhere. Even personal items that need to be put away. It didn’t happen over night. Instead, little by little the clutter took over our work world like a kudzu vine. I know, it’s happened to me too.
I recently took on a major office overhaul myself. Here are some tips that I used to get motivated for the job:
- Find your why-It might seem like an unnecessary part of the process but it is much easier to motivate yourself to do difficult tasks if you have a reason to tackle it. Maybe it is an upcoming visit from a boss. Maybe it is a new focus on getting back to the essentials and a determination to simplify your work style. For me, it was the realization that I was working with clients on bringing order and productivity to their lives while my office did not reflect the message that I was teaching. This has been especially true during the endless Zoom calls where my office is on display. I realized I was not congruent with my message and needed a new perspective myself. Yikes!
- Start small–Especially if you have a large task ahead, it is helpful to divide the task into smaller ones. Clean off a shelf. Empty a drawer. File a stack of folders. Starting small can create momentum.
- Use small chunks of time–Sometimes we feel we need a whole day (or days) to accomplish the entire task, so we fail to even start. Plan ahead to use even small chunks of time to begin the process, then follow up later to finish the effort.
- Set a goal and create a deadline– Set a date for when you want the task to be accomplished, then working backwards, determine what it is reasonable to accomplish in the interim. Take baby steps toward the goal. Make sure the deadline is connected to your why so that you have the necessary motivation to achieve it.
- Eliminate feelings–It is easy to feel overwhelmed and then let that feeling influence the action that you take. Instead make the decision to move forward, no matter how you feel. Action and progress will eventually over take the feelings. Once you are making headway, your feeling of overwhelm should give way to a feeling of success.
- Create a follow-up plan— Once you complete the project , then set a goal of maintaining the environment. Create a regular time on your calendar when you will return everything to it’s place, file away documents and generally clean up the area. You could do this once a week or perhaps at the end of every work day but don’t put it off so far in the future that you once again have a monumental job to tackle.
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