The days are getting shorter. The temperatures are getting cooler. Your summer routines at home have given way to homework and school bus schedules. The garden centers have turned over their stock from summer’s bright colors to warm hues of mums and ornamental cabbages. Autumn is upon us. Grab yourself a cup of pumpkin-spice-something to drink and let’s talk about “Fall Cleaning.” Yes, that’s right. Spring isn’t the only season ripe for a little organization and decluttering. As your routines shift to match the current season, set aside a little time to reorganize and refocus.
First things first. Remember those yearly goals and objectives you set back in January? You’re entering the home stretch. Carve out some time for self-reflection and evaluation. Are these still the right goals? Have you made progress towards reaching them? Do you need to revamp your game plan to reach the checkpoints you set for yourself? What roadblocks have come up and how can you work around them?
Leaders, this is also an excellent time to check in with your team and see how they’re progressing on their individual and group goals. What can you do to help them be successful down the stretch? (And take note: That may actually mean ditching a few of your previously established targets and timelines for more realistic ones now that you’ve got some data under your belt!).
Whether you’re the queen of organization or the champ of controlled chaos, odds are your inbox has stockpiled emails, your desk hosts papers you haven’t touched in months, and your office has gained a few extra boxes of who knows what since spring cleaning. It happens. We get busy and we never quite put away that delivery of supplies from the office supply store. We just pull from the box when we need it. We hold on to emails just in case we need them down the line. We work off hardcopy reports and then push them aside to grab another document with plans to sort and file (or trash) when we’re done. But we’re not ever really done because we just shift from one project to the next. Now is the perfect time to dedicate a day to cleaning up and getting some control back. Go through your inbox and archive or delete what you don’t really need. File, shred, organize the papers and other items that currently decorate your desk. Get your physical space back in order. Trust me. It’s going to help you get your mental space refocused and ready to successfully rock the rest of the year.
Rearrange Your Space
Now that you can see the top of your desk again, take a good look at how things are laid out. Is there a better system? That can mean moving office furniture around so you’ve got more natural light when you work or so you’re not distracted by the foot traffic in the adjacent spaces. It may mean changing where your computer sits or ditching the non-ergonomic chair for something a little more forgiving. Shake things up and try a new arrangement.
June to August is peak travel season. Whether or not you took some time off, chances are pretty good members of your team did. It might feel like it’s been a while since you had all hands on deck. While you’re tidying up and refocusing, set aside a little team building time. Sure, you could do a team lunch or a group meeting to touch base. You could also think outside the box and plan a team service day. Connect with an area non-profit and set one up. Not only is this a good team-building activity, research indicates today’s workers are longing for purpose. According to the 2014 Millennial Impact Report by Achieve Consulting, more than half of surveyed millennials said their company’s charitable work influenced their decision to accept a job offer.