How people work and live reflects a lot about them.
Those who wish to stay on task know that they must get (and remain) organized. They also understand that in order to exhibit professionalism, they must maintain an office space that represents them (and their brand) well. While spring cleaning is usually an activity associated with homes, it is also something that should be done for every office environment.
Below are 5 tips every entrepreneur can use to get their home and commercial office space ready for spring cleaning.
Clear the Clutter
It’s hard to let go of clutter. “Researchers at Yale recently identified that two areas in your brain associated with pain, the anterior cingulate cortex and insula, light up in response to letting go of items you own and feel a connection towards,” according to Lifehacker.com. “This is the same area of the brain that lights up when you feel physical pain … Your brain views the loss of one of your valued possessions as the same as something that causes you physical pain.” Meanwhile Princeton research suggests the effects of visual clutter are long-reaching: “excess things in your surroundings can have a negative impact on your ability to focus and process information.” This can result in lost time, tardiness, missed deadlines, and lower productivity.
Not only is organizing essential for smooth business operations, it can also save a lot of time in the long run. Therefore, it is essential to invest the time to properly organize your work space so that files, supplies and other items are intuitively organized. Before spring cleaning can begin it is important to clear away items that are not needed. Many small businesses have papers piled up that are of no value or could be stored away. Determine what needs to be retained, what can be stored and what can be thrown out. Create a filing system that fits your needs. Finally, send whatever is not used regularly (but is still necessary) to a storage unit.
Upgrade and Clean Computers
Computer maintenance is more than having your IT guy tweak software and hardware. Some programs and systems may need to be replaced. Meanwhile, your team should be encouraged to regularly clear their systems and file documents in the company’s cloud storage or intranet. Only icons that are regularly used should be on the desktop. Whatever is not needed should be sent to the recycle bin. This will make it much easier for team members to find key documents and files quickly, saving time.
Use digital products designed to keep notes handy. There are many online products on the market designed to create papers and reports that can be easily transmitted electronically. Consider using tools like Evernote to manage ideas, projects and experiences across computers, phones and tablets. File sharing and document management tools like Dropbox, SkyDrive, and Google Drive, are useful and can remove much of the physical paper clutter that takes up valuable office space.
Tansform your Office Desk
The only items that should be on the desk are those that are used with regularity throughout the day. This includes items like the computer or laptop, pens, notepad, planner and Post-It Notes. Other items like staplers, tape, paper clips and envelopes may be stored inside of the desk.