March 26, 2019
4 simple ways to spring clean your work life
As we start to put the winter months behind us, the spring season tends to spark in us a new-found boost of motivation. Maybe it’s the change from being wrapped up against the cold, but there’s something about the fresh morning air, lighter evenings and sunny weather that puts us in a good mood, and in the right mindset to focus our energy and motivation into something productive.
Now is the perfect opportunity to breathe fresh life into your daily duties and spring clean your work life, so you can get off to the right start and watch your productivity bloom and blossom.
Refresh your skills
It can be easy to find yourself stuck doing the same things over a long period of time. As much as the fundamentals of your role remain the same, it’s important to consider what skills you want to grow and develop long term. Focusing on your personal development will give you the motivation and drive to work to the best of your ability.
Begin by taking a step back and evaluating your current situation. What are your strongest skills? The ones that make you feel confident and that you can execute well? Once you know where your strengths lie, it’s equally as important to consider your weaknesses. What elements of your work could you improve upon? Maybe it’s carrying out effective prioritization or managing your deadlines. Knowing what skills you want to improve means you can then set realistic, smart goals that you can work towards. Goal setting will allow you to effectively plan how you will work on your development and evaluating your skillset on a regular basis will help you focus your attention on the areas that need it the most.
Block out distractions
This may sound easier said than done, but taking steps to shut out distractions will significantly increase your focus and productivity. If you find yourself constantly distracted by emails or notifications, try setting yourself a time limit for tasks that take up a large chunk of your day. For example, allow yourself 30 minutes to check and respond to emails each morning. Once this time is up, close your inbox down. If you have a particular piece of work you really need to focus on, giving yourself the time to work on this without being tempted to check your emails will allow you to dedicate your full attention to the task at hand and make it the best it can be.
Try setting your emails or instant messaging tools to ‘away’ to indicate to your colleagues that you are busy, to help minimise any unwanted distractions.
Clear up your devices
Speaking of emails, it’s easy to let your inbox fill up with various email threads, or for your devices to become cluttered. Before you know it, you’re hanging onto items that are outdated and no longer serve a purpose to your work. Remember, technology exists to make your life easier. Clearing up your devices will allow you to use these to their full potential, whilst giving clear organization to your work and aiding your productivity.
Try creating folders for different topics (for example, one could be ‘archive’) and move your older emails into these folders. This will help you keep everything separate from your current inbox without deleting anything important. By clearing up your cluttered work devices, this will help to control your stress levels so you can cut out the noise and focus in on your priorities.
Freshen up your workspace
This may seem like an obvious one, but by simply rearranging your workspace or clearing up the clutter on your desk can do wonders for your motivation and re-focus your attention. Having a messy desk is a classic sign of a busy worker, and you will be forgiven in thinking that you simply don’t have the time to put your work aside and clear up your workspace. However, taking the time to do this will help keep you focused on your current work – in the same way clearing up your devices will. You may even find that re-arranging your desk will give you a fresh burst of inspiration to work on something new with a positive and productive mindset.
Want to bring some fresh life to your workspace? Try adding a plant to your desk. Research has shown that introducing plants to your workspace can significantly improve your mental well-being. A study by NASA found that plants quite literally clean the air around you, as they remove indoor toxins from the air. What could be better?
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