If you haven’t read it, I am sure you have heard about it; The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was the #1 New York Times bestseller and has sold over 3 million copies. The premise of the book is that decluttering and organizing your home is magical and life changing.
I have always been the person who gets a high from cleaning and organizing my home and as I read this book I realized these home-organizing tips could be used as tips for organizing at work – and for most of us, organizing ends up meaning saving time.
Time-saving marketing tips
While almost every tip in every chapter could be applied to organizing at work – both your physical and digital spaces – I chose to focus on the most time-saving marketing tips and the ones that will just make you feel good when you look at your work space.
1. Start by discarding, all at once, intensely and completely
Take some time and absolutely purge everything. Delete those files you know you don’t need, get rid of that unknown charging cord (recycle responsibly) and those notes to yourself you know you are never going to use. Don’t start organizing until you are done discarding; you will end up wasting time finding a place for things you don’t need.
2. Unread items: “sometime” means “never”
Part of discarding is being honest with yourself. If you are anything like me, you have an email folder named something like “to read” or “read later.” And, again, if you are anything like me, you never read anything in that folder and it just takes up space and makes you feel guilty every time you look at it. Get rid of it. Read what you can when it comes in and discard the rest. This method has actually made me read more than I ever did with that folder because I know I have to read it or delete it.
3. Don’t scatter storage places
In my opinion, this is one of the biggest time sucks for marketers. Whether you work for one company or several clients/accounts, you manage a lot of information; you need to remember passwords, content strategies, branding strategies, content calendars and so much more, but if these are scattered across email folders, your desktop, paper files and Dropbox, you are wasting time. Pick a place and stick with it so you are not trying to remember what documents you stored where.
4. Empty your bag (and email) every day
In the book, the author talks about how out of control our purses or briefcases can get when we decided to “empty it tomorrow.” Empty your bag and your email every day. If you don’t, it becomes too daunting of a task and you will likely end up saving those “sometime” documents we talked about or scattering storage places. Plus, a clean bag and inbox just feels good because you know you haven’t missed something that needs to be done.
The last chapter of the book focuses on how tidying up can transform your life and while much of it is not work-related, one point will really motivate you to follow these tips for organizing at work. The author notes that putting your house (or work space) in order helps you discover what you really want to do. Think about this when you are organizing. Why did you save some pieces of your design work and not others? Why have you held on to that one article you wrote years ago? A little tidying up might just help you discover your passion or what you are really good at.