When you’re focused on office decluttering, you typically think of the piles of paper, used coffee cups and unopened mail. Yes, all this should be addressed as you’re clearing the desktop and surrounding areas. However, there is one other aspect of daily work life that should be included and that is decluttering your routines.
Routines are actions that we do regularly to keep us efficient. For example, clearing your desk at the end of the day eliminates the distractions the following morning. Or updating your to-do list at the end of the day when the important tasks for the next day are top of mind can ensure that those tasks get done.
You, like me, have your own set of routines. The beginning of the year is an ideal time to take a step back and assess them. Grab a cup of coffee and invest a little time in clearing the clutter. Start by:
Make a List
Jot down all your current routines so that you’ll have a starting point. Assess the list to be sure that it’s complete. Just like when you’re clearing physical clutter, it’s important to see areas that need to be addressed.
Sort and Purge
Review the list and flag those routines that should continue to be part of your daily activities. Those routines that are no longer relevant because a big project has been completed or task has been delegated to a colleague should be crossed off the list.
Tweak the Keepers
The routines that are keepers may need some tweaking to reflect changes in the established procedures or in the way you work. Revise your routines accordingly so that they will continue to serve you well.
Introduce New Routines
If your responsibilities have changed, adding routines as needed will be helpful. Even if there aren’t any changes in your position, including another routine or two could bolster your productivity.
I caution you to not make too many changes at one time. After all, each routine requires the formation of a new habit. As it can take a few weeks for the habit to form, focus on only adding one new habit at a time.
Remember that decluttering your routines is also an essential part of the clearing the office clutter project. If you have any questions related to getting started, please reach out to me.