The sun is shining, the birds are singing, which means that folks, it’s time for a lil’ spring cleaning. Our January resolutions have long been left in the dust, and a life audit is definitely in order. The aim to get more organised is a brave and noble one indeed. We’ve put together our top five tricks to help you make it happen.
1. De-clutter your work space to de-clutter your work life
In 2011, a survey by OfficeMax revealed that 90% of people believe that clutter has a negative impact on their lives and work. Moreover, 77% of people say that clutter can even damage productivity. Besides the obvious, clutter can result in a ton of wasted time looking for misplaced files and missing information.
Clutter-no-more. It is time for you to fight your hoarder instinct and let all the mess go, baby.
- Step one, bin anything remotely unnecessary. If it’s got a digital copy, that document should end up in the recycling bin.
- Step two, give everything a place. Coats should go on coat racks, work bags tucked under the desk or on a desk hook, and stationery should go in a holder. It’ll take you a while to get into the habit of putting things back into its rightful place. We’ll get into that in our next big point.
- Step three, keep it simple. Do you really need three stacks of sticky notes? Probably not. You don’t need to hoard supplies on your desk, just get refills when necessary.
- Step four, suss out your hidden mess. We know you’ve probably got a desk drawer full of junk you’ve been ignoring. It’s normal! Get rid of the trash, add a few compartments using cardboard and boom, you’ve got organised secret bits of your work-space.
2. Set time in your calendar for ‘admin’
You know how we said it’ll take you time to get into the de-cluttering habit? Habit-forming takes time, pals. The myth on the Internet is that it takes 21 days to form a habit. However, according to psychologist Jeremy Dean, it takes a whole lot longer. How much longer? We’re talking 66 days. Eek.
Until organisation becomes second-nature, it’s important to get a little bit of a nudge. Set aside ten-fifteen minutes either at the beginning or the end of your day for ‘life admin’. Ideally, pick the same time every day for extra habit-forming power. Set yourself a recurring reminder on your phone to remind you to get your organisin’ self on.
Eventually, small daily actions will make a big overall impact. Don’t knock it til’ you’ve tried it!
3. There is a space for every email
We spoke in length about our best email hacks in this piece right here. We know you folks are a busy bunch though, so if you’re gonna bookmark that piece for later, here’s one of our favourite takeaways from that article.
Email folders should be your new best friend. Label them according to project, and tackle new additions to your inbox one project at a time. This will allow you to have more overall focus, as you’ll be concentrating on one project at a time. Of course, tackle any urgent queries that come your way first, but with those non-urgent requests clogging up your inbox, the project-first approach should help you get seriously productive.
4. Get old-school with some coloured pens and a notebook
Getting organised isn’t just about physically getting rid of clutter. It certainly is a big part of it, but sometimes getting organised requires some self-reflection too.
A huge, booming trend on Instagram has been the productivity method of bullet journaling. It’s a cross between a to-do list, a diary and a planner, and is extremely adaptable to any and all of your needs.
The above layout is a simple mood tracker using five different coloured pens. You can also use the bullet journal technique to organise your grocery lists, keep track of your weekly goals, remind you of appointments and more. Try it – and if you’ve got any layout ideas, tweet them at us @DebutCareers.
5. Or new school with some task management apps
Oh boy oh boy oh boy. We love a good task management app here at Debut, so I’m going to quickly rattle off my favourites. Because some people just aren’t about the whole pen and paper thing this century, y’know?
- TickTick: This clean and simple to-do list app syncs across all of your devices (including your Apple or Samsung Watch if you have one) to help you keep track of your various tasks. You can add different tasks to different lists and use the same project approach as you would emails, as discussed earlier.
- Asana: If you’re trying to get a group of people organised (let’s say your team, a group project or heck, even flatmate chores), Asana is the best app for collaborative task management. A huge shout-out to their Asana unicorns, which appear when you tick a task off.
- Papier: A perfect blank slate that’ll open up with all of your auto-saved to-dos and notes in a new tab. Clean, simple, effective.
Let us know if any of these tips were helpful! We wish you all a happy spring cleaning.