Goals, Clutter & Clean Off Your Desk Day

By: www.BusinessClassInc.com

Our quote of the week – in celebration of National Clean Off Your Desk Day…

Clutter and chaos

Ahhh- to cut through the clutter and chaos. To simplify. To be able to focus on priorities. And pursue goals.

A clean desk is a good way to start and any day is a good day for that.

Today is especially good since it’s National Clean Off Your Desk Day – celebrated the second Monday of January.

But how is a busy person with lots of projects supposed to get and keep a clean desk?

There’s always the approach Nora helped Holly take in one of my favorite episodes of Brothers & Sisters.

Instead of sorting through all the boxes before moving, they took all the boxes to the beach and burned them. Threw them into the big bonfire. Box by box. Giving Holly a fresh new start, literally free of “baggage” as she moved off to New York.

In case that’s not a workable plan for you…

Most people I know don’t even try to keep a clean desk all the time. Instead they clear it at the end of each work day, putting everything (files, stapler, pens, etc)in its place. I like that approach too. Whenever I don’t take time for that, I feel scattered or overwhelmed.

The clearing process can happen fast if I have determined place for everything.

  • Stapler goes in the stapler drawer
  • Paper clips in the paper clip bowl
  • Scissors and pens in the pen holder
  • Checks in the deposit drawer
  • Unpaid bills in the bills basket
  • Database updates in the database basket
  • Errands in the errand basket
  • Papers pertaining to current projects for current clients back in the appropriate red folder and in the top file drawer with the other red folders
  • Important but not urgent reading goes into the Reading File
  • Anything not yet processed into my In Box (though I try to empty it before end of day)

Do you have a place for everything?

If so – it’s easy to do a quick clear at the end of day…or at any time of day. Any time you need to regroup or re-focus.

It’s great for morale. For productivity. For overall performance.

If you want to get your team involved…

  • share the above tips with them
  • ask for their favorite tips
  • designate a time – from 9 to 11 or by the end of the day for everyone to focus on cleaning off their desks
  • take before and after pictures of each person’s desk
  • offer a prize for the Cleanest Desk and For Most Improved

What kind of prize? How about…

  • a bottle of desk cleaner and roll of paper towels
  • a Staples gift certificate
  • a roll of quarters for the vending machines
  • a package of Starbursts (for their star performance)
  • anything really – it’s the recognition that counts

And for skeptics who question the value of a clean desk…you might share these statistics offered by John Campanelli:

  • 85% of workers believe that a clean desk says that “someone is on top of things.”
  • 40% of workers admit to “frequently” losing paperwork because of their messy desks.
  • There are almost 21,000 bacteria per square inch on the typical worker’s desk.
  • There are more than 25,000 bacteria per square inch on the typical worker’s phone.
  • Compare that to 49 – the number of bacteria per square inch on the typical office toilet seat

These stats were compiled by John Campanelli, Plain Dealer Reporter.  His sources were:  Plain Dealer research, University of Arizona, the Soap and Detergent Association, Greenfield Online, Pendaflex, Cox News Service.  Get more stats here:    http://www.cleveland.com/pdq/index.ssf/2010/01/today_is_national_clean_off_yo.html

As a reminder about goals, clutter and chaos, we will be posting this week’s quote on our computer screens.

You can do the same with just three clicks.

1. Click on the image above.

2. Right click on the image that appears.

3. On the pull down menu that appears, click on “set as background”. Voila!

There’s still plenty of room on the left side of the screen for all your shortcut icons.

When you’re ready to change it:

Go to your control panel. Select “Display”. Select “Desktop”. And then choose from the designs offered.”

Or print the PDF versions below. Just click on the printer icon in lower right corner of the image.

Problems with link? Try this.

Meanwhile if you haven’t already done so, sign up here for a Monday morning BOOST for you and your team – the Leadership Quote of the Week delivered to your email box each Monday morning.

One last note: In addition to bite-size bits for daily learning and reinforcement, we also offer on-site workshops and individual coaching, all tailored to the needs of the individual or organization. Contact Jan to discuss your needs: Jan@BusinessClassInc.com

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