De-cluttering Your Work Life

Matt Brewer
Contributing Writer
Direct Energy/Success Academy

If you have ever gone through the moving process, you know the process can be stressful. You go through the loan process, look at tons of houses, put a contract on a new house, and begin cleaning your old house to prepare to sell. As you clean your old house, you find all of the stuff you have held on to for years that serves absolutely no purpose, it is just clutter. I am going through that process right now and I am sure my garbage man hates me. However, if there is one thing this move has taught me, is that clutter is everywhere… including in your work life.

The first step in de-cluttering your work life has to start with your email. On any given day, you can easily receive over 100 emails, some that need attention while others are just distractions. Flag the emails that need attention and place the other emails in a folder for you to view later. Keeping your inbox clean and organized with folders can help you quickly locate a past email or ensure that you are not overlooking something that is important.

Next take a look at your desk, is it organized or do you have papers strewn all over the place? I have heard many people say that their desk is organized chaos. The desk may look a mess but they know where everything is at, and for some that may be the case. If you are looking to keep your papers organized, get a file cabinet and spend a few minutes at the end of your day going through your papers and filing them in the appropriate folder. This can be a tedious job, but organization is all about creating habits. In addition, if there are sensitive documents that you have been working on that you do not want someone to stumble upon, most file cabinets have a lock.

Thirdly, create online folders for documents that you save. There is nothing more frustrating than when someone asks you for something and you have to go searching through the depths of your C:\\ drive, hoping to find it in the next hour, while they are looking over your shoulder or on the phone waiting. This step takes 30 seconds and will make it so much easier to find documents, as long as you remember which folder you put it in.

Finally, de-clutter your involvement in things that are out of your control. People tend to spend more time focusing on things that are out of their control and all this does is clutter your mind and make you less productive. If the majority of your team is producing at a high level while some people are not, as long as you are not their direct manager, make like Paul McCartney and “Let it be”. The manager will handle the situation appropriately. Maybe you hear about a major change coming soon and folks begin speculating what the change may be and how it can affect them, don’t let that be a distraction make you less productive.

Just like when you finish cleaning that old house and you take a step back to appreciate your work and notice that the house seems more open and bigger than you thought, your workspace can give you that same feeling. It may even take some stress off your plate that is until you move offices.

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