Spring Cleaning! 5 Steps to Increase Productivity & Focus in the Workplace

© Jason Smith | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Jason Smith | Dreamstime Stock Photos

As we approach the beginning of summer, it is time to finish our spring-cleaning and start getting focused! Many of us participate in spring-cleaning activities at home but when it comes to our offices/work stations, it often gets overlooked. By taking the time to organize our space every few months we can increase productivity, focus, and overall enthusiasm for our work. Check out these 5 tips below!

1. Individualize Your Workspace

One of the best strategies to increase your focus and productivity is to individualize your workspace.  Decorating our workspaces/desks with items that motivate us can support us in our overall productivity. It is important to note that the items we bring into our workspace have a purpose and are not just there to clutter our offices. If you love nature, think about bringing in a live plant or hanging pictures of inspirational outdoor locations you love or would love to visit! Create an inspiring nest around you that can help you refocus and reenergize your workday whenever you need a jolt.

2. A Clean Slate

Uncluttering our desk is critical in increasing our productivity. In a recent study run by Adecco, over 57% of Americans “admit that they judge their coworkers on how clean or dirty they keep their workspaces.” First find a filing system that works for you. Do you like having an “In & Out” box for your projects on your desk or do you prefer to file everything away in a drawer? Next get rid of nonessentials from your desk such as knick-knacks, old food containers, and receipts you forgot to submit. Aim to have at least 50% of your desk or workspace cleared for working on new projects and tasks!

3. Recycle & Renew!

Grab your shredder if you need to, it is time to get rid of some of your paper waste!  Go through your files/papers and determine what can recycled and what needs to be kept. One great way to create more space is to copy all of your documents and save as them in an electric format (even those notes from your idea note pad). A great App to use for this is called TurboScan and allows you to copy documents right from your phone! Also spruce up the office with a new visible calendar for appointments and/or a project and task calendar to increase focus and track your productivity!

4.    Limit Distractions at all Costs

Distractions are everywhere in the workplace and sometimes it can be difficult to avoid all of them! Find ways to get rid of distractions on your desk especially when you have a project or task you need to focus on.  Some tips include:

a)    Have a drawer you can dump visible distractions in when you need to focus on a project.

b)   Re-route your cell number to your office phone so that all calls go directly to voicemail.

c)    Get rid of technology distractors such as social media by using apps like SelfControl (for Mac users) or Freedom (for PC users)

d)   If you are in an open concept office, find a location you can work privately when you need to focus.

5.   Give technology A Much Needed Reboot

The last tip for spring-cleaning your workspace/office is to give all of your technology resources a much needed reboot! When is the last time you turned off your computer or phone? This can help your programs to reset, delete cookies that have built up, and for updates to occur.  Also delete any files on your desktop that may be slowing down your software on your computer from running and organize your filing system on your computer. Look at other technology devices like phones, tablets, or music playing devices and clean them out so they can run at their best capacity.

So grab a broom, the recycling bin, and roll up your sleeves and get started on spring-cleaning your workspace.  Applying at least one of these 5 tips above will instantly help you refocus and increase the effectiveness of completing tasks and projects at work! For more information on how to support your professional development contact Institute for Mastering Success at info@InstituteforMasteringSuccess.com.

By Bryan Banville, Provost of Institute for Mastering Success

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