Monday, April 25, 2011 | 10 a.m.
The rite of spring cleaning may have its origins in the Jewish tradition of preparing for the Passover. Practicing Jews have continued this tradition of cleansing their homes each spring to rid the house of chametz. Chametz is leaven or food mixed with leaven and forbidden during passover.
In North America, the tradition of spring cleaning started in the 19th century, prior to the invention of the vacuum cleaner. March or April were often the best months for dusting one’s home since it was finally warm enough to open doors and windows to allow fresh air to come into the home.
Spring is also an opportune time to conduct spring cleaning of our businesses. With taxes behind us and the spring air turning warmer, it is time to set our sights on renewal, rebirth, and rededication to our businesses. Here are some suggestions:
Organize your work area. If you are like me, things have probably been piling up on your desk for awhile. Take the time to sort through the clutter and organize your work. File away old papers, throw away those things that you have forgotten about, and put a plan in place to address the items that still need your attention. Archive the projects that have been completed and make sure that you keep a list of the archived work. Most importantly, now is the time to stay organized. Develop a new process that will help you organize your office. File regularly, perhaps at the end of each day. Respond to correspondence immediately and then file it away. Organize the magazines and newsletters you receive. If you are not going to read them right away, file them in a place where you can find them later. If you are not going to ever read these magazines and newsletters, get rid of them immediately, preferably forwarding them to someone who may have an interest on the magazine or journal, instead of letting them re-clutter your desk.
Review progress toward your goals. Most people and firms prepare a strategic plan with goals for each year. Now that we are well into the second quarter of the new year, it is time to review your progress. Have you stayed on track? Are your plans still valid and meaningful or is it time for a course correction? Answering these questions will help you assess where you are going and if it is still in the right direction.
Freshen up your plans. Just as the weather is turning, the air is fresher, and the plants are beginning to bloom, spring is a great time to put some fresh thinking to your business and strategies. Are there new paths that you should take that would yield new results? Freshen up your marketing materials to differentiate your firm.
Cleanse your mind. Just as you cleaned your desk, spring is a great time to cleanse your mind. Try to remove any of the negative feelings that have built up over the past months. Replace those negative thoughts with the positive thoughts that come with renewal. A positive outlook will carry you a long way. Think of all the things that you take for granted but in which you should be grateful. After reading a new book, Today We Are Rich, by author Tim Sanders, I now regularly reflect upon those with whom I am grateful. The positive outlook that I have gained from this simple exercise is amazing. Whoever first wrote the phrase, “attitude is everything,” was absolutely right.
Many celebrated the Easter Holiday yesterday. Easter helps us renew ourselves through our faith. Every business could use a little renewal, and spring provides the opportunity.
Until next time…