Spring Cleaning, it's not always the favourite thing to be doing in this warmer weather. However, it is one of those things that makes you feel better as it tends to be a rewarding job. 

When you think "Spring Cleaning" you are likely to begin considering cleaning windows, cars, yards and houses. But have you ever considered cleaning up your work space? It can help mentally prepare you for a new season and even make you more productive! Here are some tips:

  1. Organize your desk 
    Are you right- or left-handed? Left-brained (logical) or right-brained (creative)? Use that as a starting point to help you decide where to put things on your desk. Corral the clutter in drawers by grouping like objects, such as pens and pencils. Are you the kind of person for whom out of sight is out of mind? Keep projects in a hanging file on the desk. Make sure to use shelves and wall space, such as by clipping projects to a series of clipboards pinned to the wall.
  2. Use effective labels
    Group receipts and other papers in a way that helps you find what you need. “Taxes – 2013” might have sub-folders with “Receipts – 2013” and “HST – 2013.” Use hanging files, with tabs aligned on one side; alternating sides will quickly get messy. Mirror these folders as you add new ones, keeping two years together.
  3. Manage tasks
    I’m guilty of writing tasks on my “to do” list that are so big, it takes me days to cross them off. Instead, I should break complex tasks into smaller, more achievable steps that I can more easily cross off. It helps to assign each task a due date and a level of importance. Delete tasks that are no longer relevant. Pay attention to how you were able to complete a task. Was it morning or afternoon? At home or in a coffee shop?
  4. Manage email
    Don’t pressure yourself to achieve “in-box zero,” but do be brutal about deleting mail. Use folders to organize your mail. Use your email provider’s “rules” to automatically move non-urgent mail (LinkedIn updates, discussion board comments, newsletters) from your in-box to folders to be read or dealt with later. If you can deal with an email in two minutes, do it: file it, forward it, delete it or process it. Otherwise, put it on your “to do” list and set a time to tackle it. Go through deleted mail once a month and trash anything older than one year. Remember you can always use the “search” function.

Good luck! Hopefully you can begin to start conquering that work space today to help make you more productive at work :)