The office. During an average, travel-free week, you may spend 40 hours in and around your desk. In one of those busy, the-annual-meeting-starts-in-10-days weeks, that chunk of time may be much higher. As you respond to emails, accept meeting requests and draft to-do lists, your desk can quickly start to feel like a child’s playroom. Where did you put those expense receipts? What is that pile sitting on top of your keyboard? When will you ever be able to restore order to the place you call home during your professional days?
As spring begins to bloom, this is the perfect time to commit yourself to cleaning your desk. Here are four simple tips to get your office into a better gear.
1) Find a smarter place for your smartphone.
Your smartphone may represent a way to get work done while you're on-the-go, but it can also be an issue inside the work environment. From the interruption of a personal text message to the temptation to make the next move in that epic Words With Friends battle, there is no shortage of potential reasons to take a break from your work to pick up your mobile device. Rather than letting your small screen capture your attention, use your spring cleaning efforts to choose a designated spot away from your vantage point for your smartphone. Instead of checking it throughout the day, you can keep your attention focused on daily responsibilities.
SEE ALSO: 5 Distractions That Are Destroying Your Productivity
2) Give your hard drive some help.
Your virtual world needs some love, too. While cleaning and organizing the physical items on and around your desk is important, the documents stored on your computer need the same attention. Take some time to make sure the screen that greets you when you power up your PC is clutter-free. Rather than just hitting “save to desktop” with every document (I’m guilty of this one), create a logical filing system that will help you feel more organized and reduce the time you spend searching for the most recent version of that spreadsheet.
SEE ALSO: 5 Bad Email Habits You Should Avoid
3) Go on a paper purge.
The paperless office is a pipe dream. While the business environment adopts more digital solutions, every meeting professional continues to deal with plenty of physical documents, magazines, sticky notes and binders. As spring settles in, take some time to go through all those old stacks of sheets. Do you still need those paper contracts from 2012? Scan them. Are you actually planning to re-read that issue of Entrepreneur you picked up on that trip last year? Toss it.
SEE ALSO: These Notebooks Will Make You Rethink The Paperless Meeting
4) Get some greenery.
The success of your spring office awakening isn’t just about what you can throw away. What you decide to add to the environment may prove to be just as valuable. A recent study shows that houseplants can make an office space up to 15 percent more productive. After you’ve filed away your documents and cleaned up your computer, add a trip to Home Depot to your calendar to spruce up your desk surroundings.
Want to make some changes to the area away from your desk, too? Click here to learn how to make the entire office feel more collaborative.