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Hit Refresh: Now’s the Time for a Tidy-Up


Daffodils. Lambs. And, if you live in Auckland, rain. See where we’re heading with this?

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Spring is almost upon us. And we’re excited, because it affords us the perfect opportunity to revisit one of our favourite topics: the delights of a seasonal declutter. Think of this as getting into shape for summer, PEP-style. We do hope, however, that paying attention to our pointers will be much more pleasant than any punishment meted out by your personal trainer. We recommend the following simple exercises (no equipment necessary):

Take stock.

Let’s start with a gentle warm-up. Take a minute to assess your physical working environment, says PEPworldwide:nz managing director Kathryn Anda. Because regardless of whether or not you’re lucky enough to have a designated desk (an increasingly rare commodity), you need to consider one simple question, she says: “Can you locate the exact information you require, exactly when you need it? If not, it’s time to tidy up.” Even if you can (and well done if that’s the case), keep reading. The workout’s not over yet.

“Can you locate the exact information you require, exactly when you need it? If not, it’s time to tidy up.”

Get a fix on your filing system.

Being true PEP devotees, you’ll already have established an appropriate structure for all your folders and files, both electronic and otherwise. Well, it’s time to revisit this framework. Is it holding together? Is there room for improvement? Have any aspects of your role changed since you set up your system? Now’s the time to make any adjustments.

Purge and prune.

Even with the best intentions, it’s too easy for anything and everything to pile up. If you haven’t managed to apply this pithy little principle – one of our favourites – as regularly as you’d like, here’s your opportunity. Don’t let clutter – whether it’s physical or electronic – coagulate. File. Archive. Delete. It’s that easy.

List those loose ends.

Now, we’d never accuse you of procrastination. But chances are there are some tasks lurking in the shadows that you haven’t quite managed to complete as yet. Identify what jobs are outstanding and decide when you’re going to address them, advises Anda. “Remember, the hardest thing is just getting started,” she says. “Once you take the first step, you’re on the move. Set yourself a goal to clear these outstanding activities before the end of the year. You don’t have to tick them all off immediately – schedule them in over the coming weeks – but decide when you are going to make a start. And if anything is no longer relevant, take it off your to-do list altogether.”

Now that wasn’t too strenuous, was it? But before you relax completely, there’s just one more thing to note. And if you need any more incentive to spring (sorry!) into action, this is it. Deep breath:

It’s only 17 weeks till Christmas.