I so enjoy the early morning stillness of my home on the weekends. Sitting in my living room on my favorite chaise amid cats, coffee, and my Sunday, New York Times restores me. On this particular day, despite the quiet my brain was off and running. This should be no surprise to the folks who know me since sitting doing nothing is not my norm. I started with pondering topics for my next blog post, and nothing came to mind. However, a series of other tasks popped into my head. I suddenly realized I was overdue for my annual Spring cleaning.
Out of nowhere a hundred tasks needed immediate attention, such as purging my desk and office of folders, post-it notes, and random papers. With daily temperature highs in Northern Virginia over 70 degrees, I figured it was safe to shift the clothes in my closet, moving the winter items into hibernation until the Fall. Surely walking back and forth would be good for at least a few hundred steps toward my daily tally of 8,000.
I sat down at my computer; something I do daily. There’s always some serious tidying time dedicated to organizing my ‘works in progress’ folder on my desktop. I reviewed and transitioned the files for my completed articles, books, and other projects to a single folder labelled ‘DONE’. I needed to create folders for several new projects on the horizon. Social media was my next destination. I reviewed an article on LinkedIn, and realized I had an email waiting for me on that site. I had to stop and think, ‘Who was that contact again?’ YIKES; surely I didn’t need to still be in touch with that person!’. That thought prompted a ripple effect as I realized there must be others who I should ‘disconnect’ with. I had to delete them from my contacts lists as well.
As I pondered my rapidly expanding list of annual Spring Cleaning rituals, the lightbulb when off…So for this week’s blog I give you,10 Spring Tidying Tips for Professionals
1. Personal office space (whether in the workplace, remote office, home office)
o Purge paper and files
o Organize the top of your desk; get past organized chaos.
o Update grounding and motivating objects (e.g. pictures, mementos, mantras)
o Shift the energy in the space (e.g. fresh coat of paint, new pictures or photos)
o Consider: What else might I want to do for the future, but just not today?
2. Computer files
o Update necessary files (e.g. resumes, CVs)
o Revise presentation abstracts
o Archive emails into folders and delete what I’ll never need again
o Move all completed work files to other folders
o Consider: What tasks should I do on a more consistent basis? ( e.g. monthly vs. annually)
3. Professional Networking space:
o Check your social media profiles for recency and accuracy
o Update your profile picture
o Make sure you have a current biography and CV posted
o Consider: Is your current profile reflect the image you want to convey?
4. Contact Lists
o Review and purge contacts , plus delete, as necessary
o Make sure the information on contacts is current
o Make new contacts
o Consider: Who have you wanted to reach out to and connect with?
o Shift winter and spring/summer clothes
o Donate clothes and accessories not worn in two years or more, or
o Consider: What clothing no longer defines me? Would I buy this item again today?
6. Actual Cleaning
o Clean the literal dust off anything that is dusty
o Take some time to really clean your office
o Consider: How often should I do this to feel the best about my office space?
7. Business Plan or Career Path
o Time to clean out old ideas that are no longer working
o Time to research new ideas that are effective today
o Time to contemplate what other opportunities do I want to tackle?
o Consider: Does my career need a change of direction?
8. Social Network Cleaning
o Remove negative connections (or those who convey negative energy) LinkedIn
o Unfriend negative connections (or those who convey negative messaging) on Facebook
o Detach from negative connections (or those who post negative images) on Instagram
o Unfollow negative people (or those who often tweet negative comments) on Twitter
o Consider: How much time should I devote to social media daily? At what point does it become a distraction from work/life priorities?
9. Clean up your email
o Unsubscribe from
§ sites you never buy from
§ political sites that always ask for money
§ websites you never go to
o Consider: How much time will I save by not having to delete these emails?
10. Make Spring tidying an annual ritual…
o Consider: Can you afford to wait? Of course not! Go get started!
Until next time.......Stay Resilient,
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