On January 1, it’s out with the old and in with the new. But have you ever applied that to your workspace? Take a look around and we guarantee you’ll spot some fossils.
At the workplace, we accumulate items just as we do at home. But between deadlines and demanding clients, we rarely have the time to give our desks a proper clean.
This time of year gives us a chance for resolution. So why not start with something as tangible and simple as organizing your workspace?
Donate, trash, keep
First, take stock. Create three piles labeled donate, trash and keep. Then, begin organizing the contents of your desk into that space. Leave no item behind. When you’re finished, the desk should be completely emptied into your piles.
Before you decide to keep the item, ask yourself when you used it last and when you’re likely to use it again. You can also apply the well-loved Marie Kondo method: if the item doesn’t give you joy, it belongs in the trash. In other words, if the pen always smudges or gives you a callus, maybe it’s time to treat yourself to a new one.
If it’s an extra stapler that you never use, donating to a colleague or charity goods organization could be the answer. For the trash pile, ask what can be recycled or composted. Many of your old documents can probably go into the compost heap!
Use that shredder
Often, we hold on to old documents because they contain sensitive information. If you want to maintain client privacy while shedding redundant documents, head to the shredder. It’ll lighten your load without compromising your business’ integrity.
Clean it up
When’s the last time your desk was bare? Now that your items are sorted into piles, give every surface a good dust and spray.
Create new organizing systems
Before you start returning items to your desk, reconsider your placement. Perhaps it makes sense to use that bottom drawer for shipping supplies and the top drawer for invoices, but you had everything wherever it fit in the past. Make note of opportunities that will make doing your job more seamless.
Dress it up
It’s amazing what a potted plant or picture frame can do. Studies show that personalizing your workspace can have major psychological benefits. So get down with some feng shui or add a pop of your favourite colour. You’ll thank yourself later.