With the month of May behind us and summer on the way, it’s time to think about Spring cleaning. Sure, you have probably already started on your home, but what about your office? A clean and organized environment has a positive psychological effect on your work habits. You will find that when you are not wading through clutter, you are less stressed and frustrated because everything is right where you need it to be. This includes digital clutter clogging your desktop and complicating your life. Not only that, but your office atmosphere will be more open and welcoming to the patients. To start, here are six steps to a cleaner and more organized dental office.
1 Avoid collecting junk
So many people think they need to keep everything—empty boxes, papers, old files, even old broken down computers in hopes they will come in handy later on. The ugly truth is that their usefulness has since expired and now only clog your dental office and create a negative and unpleasant atmosphere for you and the patients. Get rid of those unnecessary hindrances and allow yourself to breathe again.
2 Keep only what you need on your desk
Only the supplies that you need right now is all you should have on your desk. If you can’t see it then it doesn’t need to be there. I’m not talking about those pieces of décor that make your desk your own, but rather the boxes of pens, stacks of scrap paper, old coffee mugs and other unnecessary items only there to disrupt your flow. Just keep the essentials. Those stacks of papers need to go to recycling. Those old coffee cups need to washed and put away. And those boxes of pens can go right back to the supply closet.
3 Take a break to clean and organize
you just have to stop procrastinating, stop letting those stacks of papers and books and supplies build to create a jungle on and around your desk, and get to clearing, cleaning, and organizing. Ask yourself how you want your dental office to look. Visualize the final result and work your way towards it. Start small, if it’s a big job, by isolating the trash and recyclables from the items you need and use. Then, once you have gotten rid of what you don’t need, it’s time to focus on organizing the rest.
4 Sort your essentials
Whether you have a lot of projects or just a few, it’s best to organize those projects into files by priority. Ask yourself what needs to be addressed now versus what can wait. A suggestion for your file folders is to have them color-coded. Red—for urgent items that need to be done right now. Yellow—for items in progress that can wait, and green—for those projects already finished and ready to go. However, You don’t have to buy multi-colored folders, just using a colored label or pen can do the job, too!
5 Put everything back where it belongs after using
As we get busier throughout the day, we use the supplies available to us. We take a pen from the basket, a notebook out of the drawer, and several file folders off the shelf to splay across the desk. What we sometimes fail to do afterward is put it all away once we’re done. The first step is cleaning and organizing the dental office; however, it is up to us to keep it that way. If everything in the office has a place now, don’t forget to put the items you use back in those designated places.
6 Clear the clutter from your digital desktop
Now that we’ve gone through your tangible items and how to clean and organize your physical dental office, it’s important to apply this to your computer as well. Just like your physical desktop, your digital desktop needs to be cleared of unnecessary items—old files, unused images or images of poor quality, and old emails. Once you have purged your system of this digital clutter, it’s time to organize. Just as you have organized your paper folders and files, you can simplify your life by using this same organization strategy with your digital folders. Keep everything of great importance in one place, including the urgent files and documents and those you use every day. By doing this, you make these files and documents easier to find and easier manage.
This list is not confined to just these six steps, so please let us know what other steps you can suggest to clean and organize your physical as well as your digital workspace. We’d love to hear from you.