5 Steps to Spring cleaning your workplace
Posted on 6th April 2017 by Alex Worthington
You’re waking up feeling that bit brighter, the journey home at night is lighter, people around you are much cheerier, what you are witnessing is the start of Spring.
The best of us can get caught up in the winter slump, paperwork piles up on your desk, you have 10 pairs of shoes in your drawer to avoid getting your feet wet, and now there’s a layer of dust that was nicely hidden which can no longer be disguised as that shaft of sunlight falls across your desk.
But not to worry, it doesn’t have to stay like this. Spring is often associated with a time of new beginnings and with it comes change. As the seasons shift we are met with a much greater ‘spring’ in our step, we feel more motivated and we’re ready to set new goals, out with the old and in with the new, right? It’s the perfect time for.. wait for a it.. ‘A Spring Clean’.
Step 1 – A tidy desk, a tidy mind
You spend a large portion of your day at work and for most of us it’s at our desks. So, shouldn’t it be tidy? Being surrounded by chaos has been linked to a lack of productivity, a cluttered mind and increased stress levels. Shouldn’t we be able to find what we need without rifling through 6 months of junk. Yes, we should and we are all guilty, myself especially.
Let’s clear out the clutter, set aside a few hours in the morning to go through that mountain of paperwork on your desk and dispose of it accordingly. Do you have items in your draw you no longer need? Possibly, wellies, a raincoat, 500 pens you keep taking from stationary because you just can’t find your own, remove them. You don’t need them anymore, the more space in your draws the less taken up on your desk.
Step 2 – Where’s the Anti Bac?
Unless you actively go out of your way to lift the printer, get under your computer and reach far into those dusty corners the crumbs from your lunch and surrounding dust will just build up. Get out the antibacterial and hot water to give it a good clean, even the corners. This will help reduce your chances of harbouring germs that could cause a virus. It’s also worth thinking about that keyboard you touch every single day. According to Which? your keyboard can harbour more harmful bacteria than a toilet seat. The phone you hold next to your face, and the chair you sit on, it all could probably do with a good wipe over.
Step 3 – Inbox attack
Are there emails you have been avoiding for weeks, maybe even months in your inbox? Unopened mailers and Google alerts too? It’s time to start a fresh. Set aside some time, apologise to those you have missed, delete the promos you don’t want and move everything you need to keep into the correct folder.
Go through your flagged messages, have you completed the task? If they are no longer ongoing projects or needed, remove and make space for a fresh to do list. This also goes for your desktop, get it cleaned up and all filed away. If the first thing you see when you load your machine is a blur of folders and notes you are automatically sending your mind into panic mode, this could set your tone for the rest of the day.
Step 4 – Under the surface
If anyone was to go under your desk, do you think they would make it out alive? If it’s mine probably not. There’s a host of cables that I think are trying to capture me and take me hostage as I end up with my legs wrapped in wires by the end of the day. In its army, there’s also shoes, my laptop bag, the boxes of spare paper and who knows what else the cables have captured and taken to their lair.
It’s time to fight back and re-pin them to where they belong, cable ties are great for this, untangle and tie them away. Shift the shoes it’s always handy to have a spare pair just in case of an emergency, but having 6 pairs for a rainy day really isn’t justifiable. Also, they could be a little pongy, you might not notice, but I bet those around you have. There isn’t much cause to have anything under your desk so anything you don’t need store it away and find it a new home.
Step 5 – Brighten up
Winter is over, there’s no need for your surroundings to be dark and gloomy any more so let’s revamp and add some colour back into our workspace. Plants are always a good place to start, a nice little desk plant can reduce stress, increase productivity and improve indoor air quality. You can even get ones that take complete care of themselves. Do you have pictures pinned up? Why not swap them with some of your new favourites, or your planned holiday destination this year.
Change your mousemat to something a little more colourful and maybe even get yourself a new chair. If a new chair is out of the question a throw could always be used instead to hide the wear and tear. Pinterest is a great place to look for inspiration on how to spruce up your work station and has a lot of DIY tips and tricks to help make your working space a little brighter this Spring.
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