Career Report
May, 2012 — Issue 147


It’s Time to Unclutter Your Workspace

If you’re like most office workers, chances are good your workspace probably could use some freshening up. So with the spring season upon us, it’s a perfect opportunity to do some cleaning and organizing, not only on your desk and around your cubicle or office, but in your computer files as well. Appearances do matter and having a neat work area can clearly be a sign of a well-organized worker. It may even help you move ahead when promotion time comes around.

Indeed, many human resource managers agree that the appearance of a person’s workspace affects their perception of that person’s professionalism. The tidier your desk, the more put together you’ll appear. Here from an article published by are some benefits of cleaning-up the space where you work:

Increase Your Efficiency — Filing emails about training sessions you organized months ago, deleting outdated messages clogging your inbox and reviewing papers crowding your desk will make it easier to find information when you need it. This can be most important under tight deadlines or if you’re away from the office unexpectedly and need someone to fill in for you.

Reduces Stress — Having a cluttered workspace can be stressful. Just think of the last time you had to rifle through a stack of papers or a mountain of emails for a single buried document. Tidying up can reduce your feelings of pressure and constraint.

Enhance Your Image — When you entertain guests at home, you usually straighten up beforehand so people feel welcome — and impressed. Take the same approach with your workspace. Why? Because appearances matter.

Find Forgotten Items — One immediate impact of cleaning your workspace is discovering forgotten information such as ideas from past brainstorming sessions or emails that got lost among other unread items. Even if you don’t consider yourself messy or unorganized, it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks in a busy workday.

Have A Sense of Accomplishment –Don’t forget that cleaning up simply feels good. Unlike other items on your to-do list, giving your desk a good once-over can be crossed off relatively quickly, and you can see tangible results afterward.

Now you may be wonder where you’ll find the time to actually clean up. Don’t worry — you don’t have to invest several hours to make a noticeable impact. According to the article, by taking just 15 minutes each day – perhaps first thing in the morning or right after work — you can gradually clean the clutter and keep it at bay.

The key is setting small goals. If you have thousands of messages in your email inbox, for example, yes, it will take a while to put everything in order. But organizing your emails from a particular month may only require a shot period of time. The next day, you can tackle another month and slowly work your way toward present day.

Also, be prepared to make tough decisions, the article noted. Do you really need to keep a report from 2008? A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself if you have referenced a document in the past six months. If you haven’t, chances are good you can discard it or file it away. Just be sure you know your company’s policies on confidential or sensitive information. You may need to retain certain documents, even if they’ve collected dust for awhile.

News from BLK

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