Spring Cleaning? Reorganize Your Workspace for Optimum Performance
Cleaning. Organizing. Rearranging. It's not always a lot of fun, but your mom was onto something with her annual bouts of spring cleaning. Everyone can benefit from the clear head that follows having a clean space.
In addition to washing floors and clearing closets, here are some tried-and-true techniques to add new order to your workspace and your headspace while in school.
No matter your intentions, over time things tend to pile up. Maybe it's that stack of magazines that you always meant to arrange, or the clothes you haven't worn in a while. It's time to be honest. If you aren't going to use it, then lose it.
Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to go through your piles and pare them down to the essentials. Recycle and reuse where you can. Papers that are blank on one side are great to cut into scrap paper for quick notes and reminders, and it spares you the expense of buying new notepads.
Spring cleaning is also a great time to evaluate if your work station works for you. It can be a literal pain in the neck if the space where you spend so much time isn't set up well. If you've grown accustomed to slouching while you study, then cleaning up is only half the battle.
You can spend a ton of money on expensive, therapeutic upgrades to improve your posture if you have the cash, or you can look for simple, do-it-yourself hacks. Repurpose that old, empty crate as a footrest, or set your laptop on top of your dresser for a makeshift standing desk. Your body will appreciate being properly positioned during those long nights studying – or procrastinating – online.
Mix Things Up
Just as throwing open your windows as the weather warms can breathe new life into a room, so, too, can changing up the way it looks. Add a few pillows, posters, or framed pictures. Bring in a burst of color with fresh or even cloth flowers. Or check out the local thrift store for steals on some new furniture.
If you don't have the money or time to redecorate, something as simple as rearranging the furniture can make a big difference. Ever wonder what it would feel like to sleep with your head facing the other way? Now is your chance to find out. You could even borrow a book on feng shui from the library for some fresh ideas.
A big plus of spring cleaning is all the space it frees up in your life. After that, it's up to you to fill that space with meaningful, productive activities. There are many different ways to organize your life at a glance: a notebook planner, a wall calendar, a white board with the days of the month, or even using the calendar on your phone. How you tackle the process of planning your time doesn't matter. It matters that you do it.
Electronic calendars offer ultimate convenience, with cross-platform synchronization to keep everything up to date automatically on your phone, tablet, and computer. You can color code with the tap of a button, making it easy to differentiate work, school, and personal tasks, and you can set reminders so you never miss an important engagement.
By spring, you'll get a great deal on the yearly planners still in stock if you choose to go the paper route. Investing in a nice leather planner portfolio might inspire you to use it more often, too.
Include Cyber Cleaning
So much of modern life involves electronics, so don't neglect to give your computers and go-to gadgets a good cleaning. If you have a regular computer maintenance routine that includes both external cleaning and internal purging and backups, you are already ahead of the game. If you haven't established a ritual to keep these appliances in tip-top shape, now's a great time to start.
You don't need to spend money to have professionals clean out your computer. Just put important files on your external hard-drive, then start hacking away. Clear your browser cache, uninstall unnecessary or outdated programs, empty the trash, and install any updates available.
You'll realize what a difference cleaning out your computer can make when your once-laggy laptop is zipping along like new.
Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to reorganize your work station and your life. Devoting time to purging papers, changing your desk set up, cleaning out closets and computers, and organizing all your tasks now will pay off later.
Written by Ashford University staff.