Spring Cleaning Can Help Your Work Life

Selling DI

It’s about that time of the year where you re-organize your space and clear out the clutter. Spring cleaning for most looks like cleaning out closets, cupboards and garages. A lot of people like that feeling of being organized and prepared for the rest of the year. What if this could apply to your business? There are many things a business owner OR employee could do to make the rest of the year easier and more organized than any year yet.

Tidy Up

Think about all the paper that is stacked all around your workplace. Is it still useful to you? Are these documents more than 12 years old? Will you ever look at it again? Scanning documents is the perfect solution if they are still useful to you. Clearing out this clutter and organizing documents can make your office feel less overwhelming and more comfortable.

At dibrokerWest, we love the Fujitsu ScanSnap. It can handle a big stack of paper – like all those policy service notices – and you can scan documents to an attached device, a mobile device via WiFi or even cloud storage services like OneDrive, Google Docs, etc. The quality is impressive, even scanned photos look pretty good. Note: dibroker West has no affiliation with ScanSnap; we just like the product and wanted to share our experience.

This goes for yourself too! If there’s things still floating around in your mind about a past mistake or lost sale, let it go. Focus more on the goals ahead and don’t let the past get in the way of that.

Your Virtual Desktop

Spring cleaning your work space isn’t just about tidying up your physical world. Use this opportunity to organize your computer documents and emails so you can find needed files easier. If your PC desktop or inbox are cluttered and disorganized, finding what you need can take much longer.

How to Clean Up Your Virtual Desktop

Example of folder hierarchyReach for the clouds. Free up valuable storage space on your computer by uploading excess virtual baggage to the cloud. You’ll appreciate less visual clutter but you’ll also be amazed by your computers improved performance. More and more businesses are doing away with onsite storage and providing cloud-based storage for employees. It’s affordable, it’s accessible wherever an internet connection is available and the company will save money not maintaining a physical server.

Use folders. Virtual desktop cleaning isn’t rocket science. It’s just one of those things people don’t like to do. For many, it seems counterintuitive to take time away from actual work to organize but the amount of time saved in the future is worth it. Don’t make your desktop your de facto filing system.

Create a folder hierarchy - see our example in the image to the left - that’ll help you stay organized, save time and help you find what you’re looking for quickly. Try grouping functional areas of your business - for example, marketing and sales, operations, client data, etc. - or another way that makes sense for your situation. Also, repeating folder structure whenever possible is also helpful. For example, at dibrokerWest, we store previous quote requests/proposals in company-wide shared folders. We have separate folders for different kinds of quotes (i.e. GSI/GME cases vs. individual disability cases) but the sub-folders are identical. This repetition creates familiarity; so employees will know how to navigate/search regardless of what they're searching for.

Bonus: if you need to grant permissions to share documents with others, sharing a group of documents in one folder – or sharing a group of folders is much faster. Most systems inherit permissions based on hierarchy. So if you grant permissions to the “Accounting” folder (referring to our sample image), those folks will also get access to the Banking and Statement folders and sub-folders.

Clear your inbox: Do you have 13,765 emails in your inbox? Now is the time to tackle that problem! Using your email as a file saving system might make sense to some, but weeding through the hundreds of unread emails, marketing emails, replies, forwards, etc. eats up an incredible amount of time. So, dedicate a couple minutes every day to whittle down your inbox. Get rid of unread marketing emails – or better yet, unsubscribe – save the documents you need in your new file folders and delete the emails.

When creating your folder hierarchy, you should also think about implementing a file naming convention. A file name should tell you what the document is about without opening it. If you’d like to organize documents or folders chronologically, consider including the date in a YYYY-MM-DD format. When you sort your documents/files, they’ll end up in a nice chronological order.

Make a Plan and Get Started

Quote from
Benjamin Franklin about being organizedCleaning and organizing should be an ongoing process. Even if your office has a cleaning crew or service, they probably don’t dust the ins and outs of every work space. The floor underneath your desk may get vacuumed every night but the janitorial staff probably won’t touch a person’s desktop. I’ve worked in large corporate environments where the cleaning staff did a deep clean a couple times per year – where employees were asked to clear their desktops, put everything in a box and leave surfaces easily accessible.

Doing the actual cleaning may be what you’re dreading most, but once all your stuff is cleared and surfaces are tidy, it’ll be easy. You don’t need to scrub every nook and cranny with a toothbrush but the job won’t feel 100% complete unless you actually get rid of the dust.

So, dust off your computer screen, wipe down your desktop and shake the crumbs out of your keyboard (or use compressed air) and you’ll be done before you know it. You don’t even need to worry about spray bottles and rags— a pre-moistened cleaning/antibacterial wipe is all you’ll need. Besides, disinfecting surfaces with antibacterial wipes should be part of your regular routine during flu season and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hire Professionals

If you feel overwhelmed when looking at your space, hire some help. Get your carpets cleaned, have someone organize for you, or hire a landscaper to make your office look more appealing from the outside. There’s no shame in asking for help. When running or working for a business, there are times where you’re just too busy to clean. Look to an expert who can aid your frustrations.
Is your mission statement still relevant?

Many of us create business mission statements or business plans, take them into consideration for a bit and then file them away and never look at the again. It’s a good idea to revisit these documents regularly to assess whether your company’s goals and strategies are still obtainable or if they need some adjustments. Companies change, consumers change, and the market changes; that’s just the way it is.

Check in

Hold a meeting for your employees and remind them why they are here and what their purpose is. You could address any questions or issues from the last year that can be cleared up for the rest of this year. Being on the same page as your employees and communicating with them are keys to a successful business. This also could be a good time to set goals out loud with your company.

dibrokerWest Sales RepEstablishing and maintaining a clean and organized work space can help boost efficiency and reduce stress. Taking a few minutes to get things straightened out, creating a plan and sticking with it can help your business stay on track throughout the year.

For more information about disability income insurance products from the carriers we work with, please call our diCoaches or your local Regional Sales Reps for details!