How to become clutter-free for greater happiness and productivity

How to become clutter-free for greater happiness and productivity

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

How to become clutter-free for greater happiness and productivity

There are a lot of things I haven’t accomplish yet. Like many of you, I have lost loved ones and friends, suffered setbacks, disappointments and failures, but amid all of that I saw many dreams come true. I have helped a lot of people achieve their goals and helped many more overcome obstacles on their respective roads to success.

You see, we could complain about what has gone wrong, but what does that accomplish? Your next chance to do better is right around the corner and with it comes new opportunities.

If you have goals that seem as far from accomplished now as when you began, here are a few tips to help you get off to a great fresh start.

1. Morning routines.

Science has proven morning routines are beneficial to overall daily productivity. Personally, I am a night owl, but, I do have morning routines. Don’t overlook the simple things such as: brushing your teeth (you likely do it at the same time, the same way, in the same place, daily), taking a shower, getting dressed, eating breakfast and leaving for work. My good friend Duke Matlock is a morning routine guru and encourages me to have a regular, daily morning routine.

2. Planning daily.

One tip here, and it may seem obvious: Do it ahead of time. I prefer to plan my week in advance leaving room for new appointments, unforeseen activities and error margins in general. For example, if I know I have three coaching calls on Monday afternoon (each lasting 30 minutes), I give myself at least 15 minutes in between each call. This way, if a call goes over the time allotted or if something else comes up, I have breathing room. Either way, you know your schedule better than anyone. If you don’t keep up with your daily routine, appointments and schedules, I encourage you to begin doing so immediately.

3. Organizing.

This is an area I need to improve on, and it is directly related to the previous item, daily planning. Even though I keep a schedule, I need to do a better job of blocking out time for specific activities. I have improved drastically, or I wouldn’t be as productive as I am now.

4. Blocking out clutter.

Can you say social media or email, maybe text messaging? Blocking out the interruptions, the clutter and the distractions is of particular importance for those whose work requires intense focus or creative skills. For example, if you are a writer, the best thing you can do at the start of your day is to close the social media tabs in your browser. If it is necessary for you to check it often, schedule time in your day to reply to emails and text messages, and to engage with social media.

5. Being consistent.

You could implement each of the tips above tomorrow, but you would not be likely to see results until you become consistent with them. One day of eating healthy will not improve your health, and one day of being organized, having a regular schedule and blocking out the clutter will not lead to a more productive life.

Identify an area of your daily routine where you are vulnerable to distractions. Once you identify it, determine and implement a solution that ensures you resolve the issue. Maybe it begins tomorrow morning by starting the day with a walk, or reading, instead of wasting time on social media. I know if each of us implements these tips, we will have a more productive and fruitful year.

Posted: October 1, 2019 By A Guest

By: Mike Schultz, President, RAIN Group

A number of years ago, one of our clients said the following to us after a training delivery:

“The program and reinforcement were great. The people who are adopting it are seeing strong results. How, however, do I get more of them to adopt it? How do I get them to stop complaining they don’t have the time?”

Thus, we started a multi-year study of productivity and accountability. Soon after we started to achieve significant breakthroughs with client execution, and the pursuit of productivity and accountability – through both practice and research – became a top organizational priority.

Over the years we added and subtracted various pieces of productivity advice as we learned more about what worked for driving execution, behavior change, and results.

Eventually the system became effective to the point we were making minor changes at most. Then we began the process to validate (or invalidate) what we were finding in the field with a global research study on productivity.

A team of analysts and I at the RAIN Group Center for Sales Research conducted said global study, which culminated in the publishing of The Benchmark Report on Extreme Productivity, to find out which habits and behaviors drive productivity, and which don’t. And for those that do, which drive productivity the most. After analyzing responses from more than 2,300 business professionals, we not only identified the key drivers of productivity, but also discovered another finding:

There’s a strong correlation between productivity and happiness, assuming you approach productivity by following 9 specific habits.

In fact, each of the 9 Habits of Extreme Productivity positively correlate with happiness.

The Extremely Productive (The XP) are significantly more likely to strongly agree that they’re very happy:

How to become clutter-free for greater happiness and productivity

It’s not that much of a surprise Extremely Productive correlated with happiness. But look at how much! Those who are extremely productive are 2.8 times more likely to be Very Happy. That’s a surprisingly large difference. Nearly half of The XP strongly agree (5 out of 5) that they’re very happy compared to only 17 percent of The Rest.

When we include respondents who agree they are extremely productive (4s and 5s out of 5), the numbers for being very happy jump to 86 percent.

Another study found similar connections between happiness and productivity with happiness resulting in a 12 percent increase in productivity. On the other hand, unhappy workers were 10 percent less productive.

Key Drivers of Happiness

In our study, six behaviors emerged as key drivers of happiness. A key driver is a statistical analysis method that allows you to identify factors that have the strongest impact on an outcome variable.

Interestingly, four of these six are also key drivers of productivity (represented in bold). All behaviors here correlated with both Extreme Productivity and Happiness.

  1. Take Treasured TIME: Whether it’s spending time with family and friends, watching sports, or going on vacation, they regularly devote the right amount of time to activities they treasure.
  2. Sustain Energy: They regularly sustain energy for long-periods of time.
  3. Recover when Derailed: They get back on track quickly when side-tracked from being productive.
  4. Do Not React to Others’ Agendas: They drive their own agendas, and don’t let their agendas get hijacked
  5. Maximize Investment TIME: They spend the significant time on activities that drive the best results and success.
  6. Are Active and Fit: They exercise and move around and are physically fit.

It’s interesting that two of the six behaviors relate to how they spend their TIME. The happiest people take more Treasured TIME and maximize their Investment TIME.

But that’s not all.

The XP are not only more likely to be happy, but also more likely to be top performers and satisfied with their jobs.:

How to become clutter-free for greater happiness and productivity

Can you imagine being a top performer, while also being happy, and spending the time you want doing the things you love?

This makes a strong case for becoming Extremely Productive.

About the author: Mike Schultz is a bestselling author of Rainmaking Conversations and Insight Selling, Director of the RAIN Group Center for Sales Research, and President of RAIN Group, a global sales training and performance improvement company. He and RAIN Group have helped hundreds of thousands of salespeople, managers, and professionals in more than 75 countries transform their sales results and unleash their sales potential. Follow Mike on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.

How to become clutter-free for greater happiness and productivity

We’ve got a lot of distractions. Between the TV, our laptops, our smartphones, our friends and our jobs, there’s a lot going on a lot of the time.

It’s hard to be creative, to be innovative and to just be productive when you have a million different things grabbing your attention. How are you supposed to just hunker down and focus? How can you increase your productivity without decreasing your morale?

On average, employees waste 4.3 hours per week looking for items that have wandered from their original spot. It’s easy to see why that leads to stress and frustration – think how hot and bothered you get when you can’t find the TV remote in the couch cushions.

Whether you’re at work or home, having a clear workspace directly correlates to having a productive day. If you’re roughly losing an hour a day of productivity to disorder and clutter, how can you increase productivity?

With the right tools and resources, you can enjoy a clutter-free workspace that helps boost your efficiency.

1. Evernote. Desks, cars, kitchen tables – they’re magnets for loose papers, receipts and just random notes we scribble throughout the day. One of the easiest ways to eliminate the clutter is to go digital. We did it with books, and now you can do it to help create a stress-free work environment. Less stress = more productivity.

How to become clutter-free for greater happiness and productivity

Features:
• Create text, photo and audio notes.
• Synch your notes across all your devices (laptop, tablet, phone)
• Snip text, images and links from web searches to store

Tips to how it works:

• First, Evernote is free. Just simply download it and it’s ready to use instantly.
• The more you use it, the better it becomes. Instead of bookmarking pages, reduce the clutter in your browser by clipping articles and images you need to reference for later, and store them in a note.
• Search through saved tags. Don’t be scared to make a lot of notes – when you make a note, take the extra couple seconds to tag them, so that later you can effortlessly search through them.
• Use checklists. One of the easiest ways to feel productive is to mark things off a checklist. Evernote has a checklist tool that makes it simple for you to create and then eliminate things on your to-do list.

2. Create a Trello board. Trello, like Evernote, is another online tool you can use to reduce clutter on your workspace. The first thing you need to know about Trello is that it’s incredibly user-friendly. It is simple to learn how to use, interactive and free.

A Trello board is like an interactive bulletin board, but it has a lot more features like adding deadlines, adding checklists and moving tasks into different columns.

How to become clutter-free for greater happiness and productivity

3. Binder clips – yes, really. We have a lot of devices, which means we have a lot of chargers, which means we have a lot of wires to keep up with. Binder clips are simple yes, but they are an easy, inexpensive and creative way to keep your workspace clutter-free .

• First, get one binder clip for each wire you have on your desk.
• Next, put the binder clip on the edge of the desk – the side closest to the wall it’s plugged into.
• Then thread the wire through the two arms of the binder clip.

How to become clutter-free for greater happiness and productivity

Already your desk is in better shape. Your wires won’t get tangled, saving you time if you ever need to unplug one and move it to another outlet.

Having an organized desk is universal – it doesn’t matter what type of job you hold or where you work – more organization means you’re more productive which means you’re happier.

How to become clutter-free for greater happiness and productivity

It’s easy to be organized – the trick is staying organized. Try an innovative desk organizer. It will make you feel creative having an organizer with a cool style – plus, you’re more likely to put things back in their place if your things have a cool place to go back to.

4. 20/20/20. To boost your creativity and to have a clearer mind at work, keep in mind two things:

The 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away, and look at it for 20 seconds. If you’re sitting in front of a computer all day, it takes a toll on your eyes. Follow this rule, and you’ll give your eyes a mini-break without having to waste any time. Giving your eyes a break from the computer screen makes it easy to come back and feel refreshed when all you did was take a 20-second break.

Also, keep in mind short breaks. A 20-second break for your eyes is one thing, but it’s unrealistic to think that you can be productive for 8-straight hours during a work day. A great way to boost productivity, and morale, is to take a short break once or twice a day. Your brain needs a break once in a while. Take a few minutes to isolate yourself— maybe just by sitting outside where it’s nice and quiet – you’ll feel refreshed and more creative as a result.

How to become clutter-free for greater happiness and productivity

Clutter is bad for your health. Clutter increases creativity. Clutter ruins productivity. Clutter damages your relationship.

You’ve heard a lot about clutter. It can get confusing. Now it’s time to get the hard facts on how clutter affects your life.

We analyzed various studies on clutter and hoarding. We spoke to psychotherapists, physicians, and professional organizers to learn more about the psychological reasons for clutter and its negative effects. We then created a clutter infographic. All so you can finally decide if you have a healthy or unhealthy amount of stuff in your home.

Here’s how clutter affects your physical and mental health, relationships, career, and finances:

How to become clutter-free for greater happiness and productivity

Your apartment isn’t the only thing affected by over-accumulation of stuff. Clutter also has proven, tangible effects on your mental and physical well-being.

1. Clutter increases your stress.

According to a study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, people with cluttered homes full of unfinished projects were more depressed, fatigued, and had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who described their homes as “restful” and “restorative.”

The study also mentions that cortisol’s failure to decline normally over the course of the day has “been associated with greater chronic stress, disease progression, and even mortality risk.”

2. Clutter wrecks your diet.

A study in Psychological Science found that participants in an orderly environment chose healthier snacks than those in a cluttered environment.

“Clutter is stressful for the brain, so you’re more likely to resort to coping mechanisms such as choosing comfort foods or overeating than if you spend time in neater surroundings,” explains Dr. Eva Shalhoub.

3. Clutter triggers respiratory issues.

According to the Alliance for Healthy Homes, cluttered homes often contain more dust, which can cause or amplify breathing problems.

As more things pile up, more dust is generated. This creates the ideal living environment for pests like dust mites.

The harder it gets to access different areas of the home to clean, the more serious these respiratory issues become.

4. Clutter threatens your safety.

The Mental Health Association of San Francisco warns that excessive amounts of clutter — especially cardboard boxes, paper, and clothing — can block doorways and windows, creating a serious fire hazard.

If you share your home with others, excessive clutter is no longer just a “you” problem. Clutter in your home can also negatively impact the lives of your significant other and kid(s).

5. Clutter jeopardizes your love life.

People with hoarding disorder persistently have difficulty getting rid of things because of a perceived need to save them. They also feel distressed at the thought of parting with their belongings. This can take a toll on one’s marriage, as studies have shown that compulsive hoarders have higher rates of divorce.

Clutter’s negative impact on marriage is not limited to hoarders. “Spouses of a cluttered person who are bothered by the condition of the environment express their discomfort in judgment, negative comments, name calling, anger and irritability,” writes Debbie Bowie, a Certified Professional Organizer based in Richmond, Virginia.

6. Clutter upsets your kids.

If you have kids, they too can feel the negative effects of a cluttered home. The National Institute of Mental Health found that kids living in a severely cluttered environment often have elevated levels of distress, experiencing less happiness and more difficulty making friends.

7. Clutter isolates you.

The cleanliness of your home can affect your desire to invite anyone into it. In a Rubbermaid survey conducted by Russell Research, nearly half of surveyed homeowners said they won’t invite friends over if their home is cluttered.

Try not to go too far in the opposite direction, though, as living in an overly tidy and controlled environment can also cause stress. According to Kellie Rice, Psy.D., CGP, that level of anxiety makes it hard for someone to leave the house because he/she is so preoccupied with whether or not it’s neat enough.

“If a person doesn’t have control over their home environment, they use work as an escape,” says Connor McClenahan, Psy.D. People with messy tendencies rarely confine their disorganization to just their homes. Meaning that chaos can seep into your professional life, too.

8. Clutter prevents you from getting promoted.

A chaotic desk, an untidy briefcase or purse, and an undefined filing system (or no filing system at all) can all have a major impact on your job performance. A CareerBuilder study found that 28% of employers are less likely to promote someone with a messy workspace.

9. Clutter makes you miss work.

Researchers from the National Institute of Mental Health discovered compulsive hoarding was associated with an average of seven work impairment days per month — more than those reported by participants with other anxiety, mood, and substance use disorders.

10. Clutter decreases productivity.

When your environment is cluttered, the chaos inhibits your ability to focus. A study by the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute observed that “multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete for neural representation.”

In other words, a desk strewn with papers, snacks, photos, and pens will probably beat out any kind of productivity you had planned for the day. The research also shows that a clean work environment will help you be more productive, less moody, and better able to process information.

A messy home can negatively affect how you manage your finances, leading to poor money management and severe debt. While there are solutions to these issues, being able to find your electric bill is a good place to start.

11. Clutter encourages bad spending habits.

When your home is cluttered, it’s easy to misplace things. If you can’t find an item, like your yoga mat or your dog’s favorite toy, you might buy a duplicate. This habit, combined with spending a lot of money to hoard items, can get you into debt.

Beat debt with a money management service like YNAB.

12. Clutter keeps you in debt.

A cluttered home can also make it difficult to locate credit card bills and bank statements. Another lost bill leads to another late payment. Suddenly, you’re dealing with additional fees, higher interest rates, or even collection agencies.

Set up automatic bill pay or create calendar reminders in your phone to ensure you pay your bills on time.

Ready to live a clutter-free life?

Learn awesome decluttering and organizing tips over on the MakeSpace blog.

How to become clutter-free for greater happiness and productivity

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

How to become clutter-free for greater happiness and productivity

There are a lot of things I haven’t accomplish yet. Like many of you, I have lost loved ones and friends, suffered setbacks, disappointments and failures, but amid all of that I saw many dreams come true. I have helped a lot of people achieve their goals and helped many more overcome obstacles on their respective roads to success.

You see, we could complain about what has gone wrong, but what does that accomplish? Your next chance to do better is right around the corner and with it comes new opportunities.

If you have goals that seem as far from accomplished now as when you began, here are a few tips to help you get off to a great fresh start.

1. Morning routines.

Science has proven morning routines are beneficial to overall daily productivity. Personally, I am a night owl, but, I do have morning routines. Don’t overlook the simple things such as: brushing your teeth (you likely do it at the same time, the same way, in the same place, daily), taking a shower, getting dressed, eating breakfast and leaving for work. My good friend Duke Matlock is a morning routine guru and encourages me to have a regular, daily morning routine.

2. Planning daily.

One tip here, and it may seem obvious: Do it ahead of time. I prefer to plan my week in advance leaving room for new appointments, unforeseen activities and error margins in general. For example, if I know I have three coaching calls on Monday afternoon (each lasting 30 minutes), I give myself at least 15 minutes in between each call. This way, if a call goes over the time allotted or if something else comes up, I have breathing room. Either way, you know your schedule better than anyone. If you don’t keep up with your daily routine, appointments and schedules, I encourage you to begin doing so immediately.

3. Organizing.

This is an area I need to improve on, and it is directly related to the previous item, daily planning. Even though I keep a schedule, I need to do a better job of blocking out time for specific activities. I have improved drastically, or I wouldn’t be as productive as I am now.

4. Blocking out clutter.

Can you say social media or email, maybe text messaging? Blocking out the interruptions, the clutter and the distractions is of particular importance for those whose work requires intense focus or creative skills. For example, if you are a writer, the best thing you can do at the start of your day is to close the social media tabs in your browser. If it is necessary for you to check it often, schedule time in your day to reply to emails and text messages, and to engage with social media.

5. Being consistent.

You could implement each of the tips above tomorrow, but you would not be likely to see results until you become consistent with them. One day of eating healthy will not improve your health, and one day of being organized, having a regular schedule and blocking out the clutter will not lead to a more productive life.

Identify an area of your daily routine where you are vulnerable to distractions. Once you identify it, determine and implement a solution that ensures you resolve the issue. Maybe it begins tomorrow morning by starting the day with a walk, or reading, instead of wasting time on social media. I know if each of us implements these tips, we will have a more productive and fruitful year.

How to become clutter-free for greater happiness and productivity

By Brad Starr, Senior Partner at Partners In Leadership, consults executives globally to improve team alignment and communication and Mattson Newell (@MattsonNewell), Director for Partners In Leadership who works with leaders to create greater workplace accountability and facilitates enterprise-wide culture change.

Effective leaders understand the power of feedback. They use it as a mini-mentoring tool to clear the air of confusion and communicate how an employee’s behavior aligns with company results. When offering feedback from a place of respect, a leader can move an employee away from undesirable behavior and cement the thinking and behavior that lead to personal and professional excellence.

Here are five tips to help you give impactful feedback for which your employees will thank you:

1. Communicate Why Feedback Is Important

If employees equate feedback with criticism, they may walk into a feedback session braced for confrontation and ready to go on the offensive. Demonstrate your desire for a transparent, productive conversation by answering two essential questions: “Why feedback?” and “Why now?” Clarify the goals you hope to reach: improving communication, spotlighting where an employee is going above and beyond, and pinpointing areas in which an employee has room to improve. And invite them to ask questions; feedback is most productive when it is a two-way conversation.

2. Focus on the Positive and the Potential

Frame feedback as an opportunity for employee development. Cite areas in which the employee is already excelling, and then ease into a discussion of specific areas where they could improve. You want people to feel valued, challenged, and accountable. Feedback that points the way towards excellence leaves employees inspired and eager to become their best selves.

3. Establish a Regular Cadence

Employees need to receive regular feedback, both appreciative and constructive. If you wait an entire year for an annual review before giving guidance, they might feel like you’re springing something on them–a culmination of grievances or an outpour of praise that could have more impact if you had communicated in regular intervals rather than all at once.

4. Make Sure Feedback Is Timely

Timeliness is as important as establishing a regular cadence for giving and receiving feedback. It can be frustrating for an employee to hear a week after a project is completed that things could have been done differently. Rather than waiting for a formal review period, give specific feedback throughout the course of a project, as well as immediately upon completion. Reserve your regularly scheduled feedback sessions to discuss an employee’s long-term goals and what he or she can do to reach them.

5. Ask for Feedback

If employees witness you asking for feedback, they’ll begin to feel more comfortable doing so themselves. Being vulnerable is one of the most effective ways to establish trust. But do be careful that you don’t just talk the talk. You also need to be responsive to the feedback you receive and demonstrate that you’re actively striving to improve–your management style, the department’s processes, and other areas that need adjustment. Leaders are human, after all.

When Everybody Wins

The ultimate power of this deliberate communication tool is that it supports employee success and growth as much as it does the organization. By working with employees to solidify or improve behaviors and outcomes, leaders can positively impact a host of other auxiliary business results, from retention to employee happiness, to productivity and ultimately results.

How to become clutter-free for greater happiness and productivity

Employee happiness has increasingly become an imperative in business. Why? There is now growing evidence that when one’s employees are happy, organizations thrive.

To put this claim into perspective, consider just a few key statistics.

One study found that happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees. When it comes to salespeople, happiness has an even greater impact, raising sales by 37%. But the benefits don’t end there.

Happy employees are also good news for organizations: The stock prices of Fortune ’s “100 Best Companies to Work for” rose 14% per year from 1998 to 2005, while companies not on the list only reported a 6% increase.

Defining Happiness In The Workplace

So, happiness is linked to productivity. But what does it mean to be “happy” in the workplace?

In his book, The Truth About Employee Engagement, Patrick Lencioni boils it down to wanting to feel like who you are matters (you want people to know your name), that what you do has an impact (that you’re engaged in relevant work) and you’re making progress (that your work is having an impact and leading you and your organization forward).

This should be easy, but all too often, employees don’t feel valued at all. Why not?

Too many companies are overly focused on what they do but overlooking and minimizing who is doing the work, as well as how and why they are doing the work. While job security and financial stability are important to job satisfaction, so are opportunities to use one’s skills and abilities. The bottom line is that people need to continue to grow in order to remain engaged and productive.

Promoting Workplace Happiness

My personal mantra for over a decade has been that I want to do work that I love, from places I love and with people I enjoy. I would argue that most people want this. The challenge is knowing what this means and how to pursue these opportunities. While I have been ruthless in my pursuit of this type of work, I have fallen flat on my face many times.

Life gets busy and demands at work continue to mount. We all get stuck at times — in habits, routines and relationships that don’t serve us well and even limit our happiness. All too often, we are unaware that this is happening because we don’t have the bandwidth to focus on what is and isn’t making us happy. Even when we are clear about what makes us happy, many of us don’t know how to find the bandwidth to bring about change.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to intervene and build happiness among you and your team.

• Engage with happy people. Some people are happier than others, so go out and find them. Historically, there has been a strong correlation between wealth and happiness, but a recent study suggests this correlation may no longer hold, as people living in emerging economies report just as high or higher levels of happiness than those living in wealthy nations. So, where are the happy people? To begin, try Mexico!

• Foster meaningful relationships. Who you work with matters. According to Harvard Business Review, “close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%.” Moreover, “people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work .” Build teams that foster friendships and use your current team members to tap new talent. If a member of your team has a strong working relationship with a former colleague and friend, don’t hesitate to bring that individual on board. Good people surround themselves with good people.

• Be responsible for your happiness: While happiness can be affected by DNA and life circumstances, Sonia Lyubomirsky suggests in The How of Happiness that we still control roughly 40% of our happiness. T ake control of your own happiness and invest in wellness programs to help your employees do the same.

As we move toward the final weeks of the year, take stock of yourself and your team. Are your employees happy at work? Are you happy? Consider what you and your employees can collectively do to infuse more happiness into your everyday operations. You’ll see an impact on your work, life and bottom line in 2018.

How to become clutter-free for greater happiness and productivity

By Brad Starr, Senior Partner at Partners In Leadership, consults executives globally to improve team alignment and communication and Mattson Newell (@MattsonNewell), Director for Partners In Leadership who works with leaders to create greater workplace accountability and facilitates enterprise-wide culture change.

Effective leaders understand the power of feedback. They use it as a mini-mentoring tool to clear the air of confusion and communicate how an employee’s behavior aligns with company results. When offering feedback from a place of respect, a leader can move an employee away from undesirable behavior and cement the thinking and behavior that lead to personal and professional excellence.

Here are five tips to help you give impactful feedback for which your employees will thank you:

1. Communicate Why Feedback Is Important

If employees equate feedback with criticism, they may walk into a feedback session braced for confrontation and ready to go on the offensive. Demonstrate your desire for a transparent, productive conversation by answering two essential questions: “Why feedback?” and “Why now?” Clarify the goals you hope to reach: improving communication, spotlighting where an employee is going above and beyond, and pinpointing areas in which an employee has room to improve. And invite them to ask questions; feedback is most productive when it is a two-way conversation.

2. Focus on the Positive and the Potential

Frame feedback as an opportunity for employee development. Cite areas in which the employee is already excelling, and then ease into a discussion of specific areas where they could improve. You want people to feel valued, challenged, and accountable. Feedback that points the way towards excellence leaves employees inspired and eager to become their best selves.

3. Establish a Regular Cadence

Employees need to receive regular feedback, both appreciative and constructive. If you wait an entire year for an annual review before giving guidance, they might feel like you’re springing something on them–a culmination of grievances or an outpour of praise that could have more impact if you had communicated in regular intervals rather than all at once.

4. Make Sure Feedback Is Timely

Timeliness is as important as establishing a regular cadence for giving and receiving feedback. It can be frustrating for an employee to hear a week after a project is completed that things could have been done differently. Rather than waiting for a formal review period, give specific feedback throughout the course of a project, as well as immediately upon completion. Reserve your regularly scheduled feedback sessions to discuss an employee’s long-term goals and what he or she can do to reach them.

5. Ask for Feedback

If employees witness you asking for feedback, they’ll begin to feel more comfortable doing so themselves. Being vulnerable is one of the most effective ways to establish trust. But do be careful that you don’t just talk the talk. You also need to be responsive to the feedback you receive and demonstrate that you’re actively striving to improve–your management style, the department’s processes, and other areas that need adjustment. Leaders are human, after all.

When Everybody Wins

The ultimate power of this deliberate communication tool is that it supports employee success and growth as much as it does the organization. By working with employees to solidify or improve behaviors and outcomes, leaders can positively impact a host of other auxiliary business results, from retention to employee happiness, to productivity and ultimately results.

Related Stories:

Clutter makes you less productive.

Your office space is just as important as your home space.

If you spend a greater percentage of your time at work, it’s worth giving that space some attention to do your best work.

Follow Ladders on Flipboard!

The mess on your work desk inhibits your overall productivity because everything is competing for your limited mental resources.

The more stuff you have around your immediate work environment, the more each item competes for “neural representation”–i.e, your attention.

A disorganized desk makes it harder to focus, according to research.

So the more clutter kept on your desk, the harder it is to process information and switch between tasks successfully.

Think about how stressed you are when you can’t find something (if you have to keep moving objects every day, or you can’t see your desktop, it’s time to declutter your workspace).

If you have to keep a few important things on your desk, follow the “essentials only” rule, according to Jennifer Ford Berry, best-selling author of the Organize Now!. “Keep the items you need to get your job done within arm’s reach — and only those items,” she says.

To improve mental clarity and concentration, keep items you rarely use away from your desk. Non-essentials should always be kept in desk drawers.

Aim to make the space as open as possible.

Use the 5-S Principle to clear your desk

5S is a simple method for organizing your workplace in a clean, and efficient way to enhance productivity.

It’s the name of a workplace organization method that uses a list of five Japanese words: Sort (Seiri), Set In Order (Seiton), Shine (Seiso), Standardize (Seiketsu), and Sustain (Shitsuke).

  1. Make work easier by eliminating obstacles (Sort)
  2. Arrange all necessary items so that they can be easily selected for use (Set In Order)
  3. Clean your workplace on a daily basis completely or set cleaning frequency (Shine)
  4. Maintain high standards at all times (Standardize)
  5. Self-discipline also translates as “do without being told”(Sustain)

It’s a simple principle to maintain a productive desk.

You can use it as a guide just before you leave the office to declutter your desk.

The last 20 minutes of your workday is the perfect time to prepare for tomorrow

You can easily embrace the declutter habit if you clear your desk before leaving the office.

“Clutter isn’t evil during a project, but it certainly isn’t necessary all the time. That’s why I adopted the practice of “desktop zero,” just like inbox zero for email: At the end of a task or project, I clear my desk of everything I don’t need sitting out,” says Jeff Sanders, author of The Free-Time Formula and The 5 A.M. Miracle.

When in doubt, rearrange.

Your workspace is now your command center.

You don’t even have to spend a lot of time tidying your desk. A simple re-arrangement of essential objects can do the trick.

Put frequently-used items on your dominant side. This saves you time.

You won’t need to reach across to grab an essential item when necessary.

“Getting up even just once a day for a pencil or paper clip is shutting your brain off a project you are working on and you will have to come back and re-center,” says Amy Trager, a certified professional organizer.

If you still feel still distracted after rearranging objects, try sweeping everything off your desk, except the computer, phone, planner, notepad, pen, and desk trays if use them to organize papers.

Keep it minimal and functional with only the items you use every day.

You can go a step further by making the one thing you’re working on the only thing that gets to occupy space on your desk.

Be deliberate and selective about what goes where.

The same desk arrangement may not work for everyone.

Adjust your workspace according to how you work. If you do a lot of brainstorming, paper trays, pens, and highlighters might be your essentials.

If your work is primarily digital, a minimal approach ( computer, journal, and a pen) may be your essentials.

Organize your desk based on how you get things done.

For maximum productivity, reassess how frequent you use essential items on your desk. Take a weekly scan of your desk to make sure everything still deserves a spot on your desk.

Commit to a personal organizational system to keep your desk clutter free.