“A tidy office is a sign of a tidy mind,” one of my business mentors once said. He was obsessive in his crusade against clutter, convinced that it was a drain on efficiency and also signalled to anyone who saw your workspace that you were not in control.
Over the years I have been in business I have learned that there is more than a grain of truth in his advice.
I have three criteria that are important to my ability to focus and my efficiency.
- I am well groomed and wearing business atire (even if I am working from home)
- My desk and immediate workspace is tidy and uncluttered
- My wider workspace is professional and condusive to business
“Clothes maketh the man,” goes the quote, and I agree that it is true. If I wear a T shirt and jeans then I am in a T shirt and jeans frame of mind. By wearing business attire I am sending a signal to my brain that I am ready to work, and that I am taking my projects seriously.
You need to find the level of attire that is appropriate for your business. Sir Richard Branson may be able to get away with wearing jeans and a jacket, but if you are financial consultant it may not be what your clients expect you to wear.
Stobbart Transport in the UK are a famous haulage company whose trucks can be seen driving up and down the length of the country. One of the features of their service is that their lorry drivers all wear a shirt and tie. That signals a high level of professionalism and respect for the service they provide, and for their customers.
Keeping your immediate workspace neat is important in helping your mind to focus on the task at hand. Few of perform well when we are distracted, and in my own experience my work day can quickly become occupied with “stuff”ather than important tasks unless I stay one-pointed in my priorities. A clear desk helps with this.
“Focus On One Task Until Completion” is a worthwhile motto.
Maintaining a clean a tidy workplace or office is important. It sinals to your staff and to your visitors that you care about the details. Mark Thornton of Clean Direct carpet cleaners, Milton Keynes says that clients are often surprised just how much of a contrast their is when they get their office shampooed.
“Dirt builds up slowly, so slowly that the people working their don’t even notice it.” he says. “Yet when people walk in for the first time they see the dirty office carpets that the people there have been accustomed too – you never get another chance to make a first impression. That’s one of the reasons why we recommend our customers set up a regular schedule of cleaning so it never gets that bad again.”
What impression do you give clients / customers who visit you? Would you like to visit your workspace in its current condition. If not, then it is time to spruce things up.
The good news is that by raising the standard of your personal attire, your immediate space and your wider worker environment you can quickly increase productivity levels – and that translates to more money in the bank.