how to spring clean your workflow

How to Spring Clean Your Workflow

Summer is right around the corner, and you know what that means? A full schedule of travel, indulging in ice cream, days in the park, and more! So quick, before spring ends, let’s do some spring cleaning.

In our homes, the art of spring cleaning is to rid allergens and ultimately improve our health. Plus 37% of people compare checking the annual chore off the list to leaving work on a Friday afternoon. Now that’s a reason to clean!

Spring Cleaning's Sense of Accomplishment or Rejuvenation
Image Source: Simplemost

So why not bring that sense of rejuvenation to your workplace every day?

We’ve done a bit of research and testing for you, this is how we’ve increased our workflow this spring. Now it’s your turn.

Schedule Regular Breaks

Are you chugging along checking things off your list and notice you haven’t moved in 3 hours? This mindset of “I’m too busy” could be detrimental to your physical health and your well-being. A survey taken among Staples employees found that 86% of workers understood the need for breaks and 59% of workers indicated regular breaks would improve work happiness.

Taking a break keeps you focused, increases information retention, and lets you re-evaluate your goals. Try scheduling a 15 min break away from your desk every 90 minutes and watch the ideas flow.

Work From Home

Do you have a home delivery scheduled or feeling under the weather? Work from home. A Stanford study shows that employees are more than 13% more productive when telecommuting by choice. However, moderation is key to reaping all the benefits of working from home for both employees and employers.

Communicate Directly

Emails, emails, emails. So many emails. A study from the McKinsey Global Institute found that 28% of an average workweek is spent reading and answering e-mails. Each time an email comes in, it takes 64 seconds to recover from the interruption according to a study from the Danwood Group.

Minimize internal emails by implementing email policies, scheduling a brainstorming walk with a co-worker or chatting directly with the team or a co-worker. Minimize external emails by picking up the phone to chat with a client, bonus, your building trust along the way. Less emails, less time, less mistakes, more productivity.

Prioritize Tasks

Before the day ends, develop a task list using the Eisenhower Matrix for the following day. Try to keep your “Do” box limited to 3-5 tasks. Then, conquer your highly dreaded or difficult tasks first when you’re feeling fresh. Once that weight is lifted, you’ll be able to complete other tasks more efficiently.

The Eisenhower Box
Image Source: http://jamesclear.com/eisenhower-box

Further reading on the 4 metrics in the matrix can be found in Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Clean Desk = Less Stress

At the end of each day, take 10 minutes to organize and clean your desk space to your liking. Leaving work with a clean desk provides closure for the day and a motivational and fresh start for the following day. Keep your desk tidy and update your task list for a successful day.

Tell us how you’ve increased your workflow. Bonus, did you find any unique treasures from your spring cleaning endeavors at home?