It’s Monday morning and you’re feeling a bit jaded. You enter your office, sit down, and immediately feel like going back to bed.
Now, it’d be understandable to lay the blame at the door of the weekend itself, but take a look at your desk. Is it a mess? In fact, is the office itself a horror story of paperwork, unused stationery, old laptops gathering dust, discarded water bottles and Post-It notes to which you no longer refer?
The reason you feel so unproductive this Monday morning might simply be because your office needs a proper declutter. Combine the following decluttering tips with productivity best practices, and you’ll be onto a winner:
Work out what you use each day
Chances are, most of the stuff that’s on display and getting in your way in the office simply isn’t used.
Certain things might see occasionally use, sure, but it’s far better to operate on the following rule: if it’s used daily, keep it out (but tidy) - if it’s rarely used, store it away.
Take five minutes to look around and note down what’s on display, then, next to each item, put a tick if it sees regular use. Store (or bin) everything else. Be brutal.
Move as much as possible to digital
How much of the paperwork and hard-copy files that make a mess of your office are actually referred to? Are they working documents, or simply there for posterity?
By spending a little time working out what you can digitise, you’ll be amazed by how many files, receipts and reminders can be transferred to your laptop or smartphone. We’re some way off the completely paperless office, but you can start making some serious headway now.
If you still like analogue life, that’s absolutely fine. Just be smart with what you keep in the physical realm; for instance, pen and paper might still be the perfect to-do list option for you.
Make yourself feel good; donate
Throwing stuff away isn’t always that easy at work. What if you need it in the future? What if that piece of paper might one day mean the difference between a lost or gained sale?
In reality, if you’re not using stuff, it can be thrown away or filed, but when it comes to larger items, make yourself feel better by donating them to charity. Old computers or other items of value will be gladly accepted by certain organisations, and it’ll give you a nice, warm feeling inside when you hand them over.
Keep your digital world tidy, too
Your decluttering efforts should extend to your digital world, too.
If your computer desktop is a mess of files, folders and apps, clean it up - you’ll feel far more inspired whenever you sit down and stare at an undistracted desktop wallpaper scene.
The same goes with apps; if your phone is cluttered with apps you installed once, opened and then abandoned, get rid of them.
The advice in this blog might seem like simply chipping away at a much bigger problem, but the opposite is true.
The more you declutter the space within which you work, the clearer your mind will become, and clear minds are far more productive.