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10 Steps to Clean Up Your Office in 10 Minutes

10 Steps to Clean Up Your Office in 10 Minutes

Do you have the guts to part ways with all those broken gadgets, notepads and pens? This 10 step office cleanup guide should have you neat and tidy in no time. Try to spend just one minute on each task, and move quickly.

10. Paper

Why it’s messy: Paper is the biggest desk culprit. Chances are you have piles of notes, receipts and cartoons strewn about, and it’s keeping you from getting to other office organization tasks.

How to fix it: Take 1 minute to organize receipts and documents into separate piles. Sift through for “to do” lists so you can compile them later. Throw away anything you already have on your computer. If you’re afraid of wasting printer ink by printing it again, save it.

9. Pens

Why they’re the culprit: You probably have 19 pens on your desk, only 3 work, and there’s only one you’ll happily write with.

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How to fix it: Do you even need to bother checking all of the pens to see which ones work and which are duds? Start by tossing anything from a hotel, doctor’s office or golf course.  Keep pens with sentimental value, of course, especially if you can refill the ink. Toss the rest. If you don’t own a pencil sharpener, donate them to a student.

8. Paper Clips

Let’s get real. When is the last time you used one? Chances are, unless you’re making jewelry, or roping off a room, you don’t need the 400 pack sitting on your desk.

How to fix it: This one’s rather simple. Grab as much as you can in one handful, give the rest to a friend or office mate. Paperclips are an office product lots of people tend to buy in bulk because they’re cheap, but they’re messy. If you ever find yourself without a paper clip, ask a friend!

7. Dust

How’d it get there? If you’ve had your desk covered in unnecessary paperwork, chances are you haven’t been able to give it a proper wipe-down.

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How to Fix it: If you’re immobile, we suppose you could use the condensation from your cup of iced coffee and a napkin, but in case you can get up, give your desk a nice wipe with a damp paper towel.  After a few swipes you’ll be squeaky clean!

6. Clothes

If your office had a shower, you’d never leave, right? That doesn’t mean your office mates should have to hang out with your gym clothes in perpetuity.

How to Fix It: Your clothes – a sweater, a scarf, socks – probably accumulated over a few months, toted around in your purse or a shopping bag. Before you throw your take-out away, save the bag, stow your clothes and remember to take them home with you. Either that or drop them off at a laundromat.

5. Cards, Toys, Office Swag

It feels nice to get a card or thoughtful gift from a friend at work. Even if you didn’t get the present from a colleague, these things make your desk feel like home, understood. Don’t become one of those people with the desks that look like a museum.

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How to Fix It: Parse through the desk toys and get rid of anything that you got for free or at a seminar. It detracts from any accolade related desktop items. If you have an award or certificate of achievement, make sure it’s not overshadowed by your convention pens and stuffed toys.

4. Hardware

Your printer and computer are the backbone of your office. Don’t let them get dusty and greasy. A quick clean is cheaper than buying new hardware.

How to Fix it: Wipe down your screen. Get a hold of canned air if you can, and blow the dust out of your keyboard and CPU.

3. Disinfect

The last cold you got probably wasn’t from germs in the bathroom. Many studies suggest that the desktop in an office is dirtier than the restroom. If you keep anything at your desk, disinfectant isn’t a bad choice.

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How to Fix it: Just like dusting, spray, swipe, repeat. Making sure your desktop is free and clear of dust and clutter will make it easier to spray often.

2.  Streamline office Supplies

An all-in-one stapler, tape dispenser may not be your tool of choice, but maybe you don’t even need both. Office supply overload is unnecessary with so many documents living in the “cloud.”

How to Fix It: For every highlighter, stapler, staple remover and clip, choose a few to keep. You don’t need every color of pen, or 4 notebooks.

1. Food

If you aren’t at your desk, it should look that way. Food is the biggest culprit in desk grime, smell and overall uncleanliness. Plus, it probably grosses out your office mates

How to Fix It: Throw away anything you haven’t taken a bite from in the last 5 minutes. Any plates, bowls or silverware that haven’t been cleaned since your last meal should be taken to the kitchen. Once you’re there, you can have a celebratory cup of coffee, after you wash your mug.

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.

It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.

A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.

1. Define Career Success for Yourself

Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.

What does career success mean to you?

This is about defining your career success:

  • Not what you think you ‘should’ do
  • Not what people may think of you
  • Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
  • Not taking actions based on societal or community norms

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin

When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.

There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:

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  • Work-life balance
  • Opportunities for growth and advancement
  • Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact

Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:

  • What do you mean by work-life balance?
  • What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
  • How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?

Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:

  • I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
  • I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
  • I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.

Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:

  • What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
  • What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
  • What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?

Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.

Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.

What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?

2. Know Your Values

Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.

There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.[1]

Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:

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  • Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
  • Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
  • Put the words on your fridge
  • Add the words on your vision board

Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?

3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.

How you define short-term and long-term is entirely up to you. Short-term can be 30 days, 90 days, or 6 months. Maybe long-term goals are 4 months, 1 year, or 10 years.

Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:[2]

  • What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
  • If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
  • If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
  • What type of impact do you want to have on people?
  • Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
  • What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?

Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:

  • Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
  • What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
  • How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
  • Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?

Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.

By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.

4. Determine Your Top Talents

What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?

What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.[3]

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What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?

What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?

What do you notice?

5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience

Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?

I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.

Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.

Keep these words visible too!

Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?

6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort

Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.

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Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.

“These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi

7. Manage Your Own Career

Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.

Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.

Summing Up

For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.

Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.

Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:

  1. Define Career Success for Yourself
  2. Know Your Values
  3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
  4. Determine Your Top Talents
  5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
  6. Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
  7. Manage Your Own Career

“When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal

Good luck and best wishes always!

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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