By Dan Hansen, Brand Strategist
Like many people out there, I live in various state of clutter. My dinner table at home is the standard receptacle for various pieces of mail, newspapers, magazines, coozies, hats and a laptop. My bookshelves have turned into a makeshift workbench for my bike tools and bearspray. And my spare bedroom… well, last time I attempted cleaning in there it turned into a project that ate an entire weekend.
The key to living like this is accepting that this is just how certain things in my life will always be and learning to embrace it. I battle it from time to time and foolishly swear that I will never let my dinner table become part sewing table part bill pile again. But just like clockwork, my bike tools, ski waxing supplies, camping gear and whatever else slowly invade all aspects of my space.
My desk at work goes through different stages of clutter depending on the week and one thing I’ve learned is this — in my professional life I am much more efficient when I can keep the clutter to a minimum. This is as simple as taking five minutes at the beginning or end of the day to pick up and straighten out piles of papers, throw out the unnecessary ones and put file away what I can.
To help me achieve this, I have instituted a simple rule for my desk at work — if I haven’t used it in the last 30 days it doesn’t have any space on my desktop. I mean, really, a lot happens in 30 days at my job. In that timespan we’ll usually have multiple projects go from initial contact to finished and archived. With that much going on, it’s important to keep the space surrounding you optimal for focusing your attention on the task at hand. And this means I don’t need to be looking at the paper-clipped stack of papers from a website proposal that started six months ago. Or the broken GoPro mount that found its way there after a bike ride last spring. Or a time log from last month with a random tidbit on it that I somehow deemed worth saving at the time.
Getting rid of clutter always seems like such a daunting task. Who wants to make time to clean when there are trails to ride, mountains to climb and lakes to jump in (or nap next to in a hammock)? But it’s amazing what can be accomplished with just a little bit of effort. It’s a constant struggle but once you learn to start managing (and winning!) the smaller battles, you are one step closer to winning the war. And while I don’t think it’s a war that will ever be fully won, it sure feels nice to look at my desk at work and actually see desk under my computer.
How does clutter affect you in your work life? Maybe we can lend a hand. Is one of your brand ambassadors not pulling their weight? We can help you figure out why and manage your entire athlete team. Do you have a ton of raw GoPro footage sitting around from last season? We can do something with it -- like edit it into an awesome Instagram video series so you can share it with your audience. Do you need a plan in place to introduce that next amazing whatever out into the world. Give us a call — we love stuff like that!
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