Business and work-spaces cluttered with paper, magazines, manuals, files, things that require action, or things totally irrelevant to our role leads to confusion, frustration, lack of direction, in ability to focus, fatigue and limits our ability to produce the results required for the task ahead.
Decluttering creates a sense of confidence and self-efficacy.. . Source: Psychology Today
But why bother spending time decluttering, I am too busy running my business?
Investing time to ethically declutter
- Boosts productivity
- Saves money
- Improves Health and Well-being
- Reduces our carbon footprint
There’s no gain without pain, regaining control over paper clutter, requires an investing of time and energy, for small business these are things in short supply.
Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.” Henry Ford
According to the National Association of Professional Organizations NAPO the average person wastes 4.3 hours per week searching for papers, which adds stress and frustration to the workplace while reducing concentration and creative thinking. The average executive loses one hour of productivity per day searching for missing information. And, according to the Small Business Administration, the biggest burden for small business is the inability to properly service customers, increase sales and improve the bottom line because of mishandled paperwork
- Allocate 10 minutes per day and go for it, consider this a daily sprint
- Start by return things that do not belong in your space to their correct home.
- Work through piles sitting on the edge of your deck, until all flat surfaces are clutter free
- One at a time, assess filing cabinets, cupboards, drawers and visual clutter (post it notes, old of date certificates and motivation boards) remove anything that is no longer relevant.
- Make a decision on those projects that we great ideas at the time but never grew legs, they stop you from moving forward, take the good and let go of the rest.
- Block out time for team declutter sessions, twice weekly, weekly, monthly until paper clutter is under control.
- First impressions count, declutter the reception area to create a look that inspires people to work with you.
- Create a clean desk policy, finish each day with an organised, clutter free workspace.
La Casa Nostra Deli is a family owned business owners Phil and Susan Tomasello are actively reducing single use packaging and encouraging their customers to refill, reuse and recycle within the La Casa Nostra community; overall rethinking waste and winning in more ways than one.
Susan and Phil took the brave step of not providing plastic carry bags to clients, by bucking this trend they opened a new dialogue with their customers and encouraged greater community engagement. Not forgetting their customers’ needs Susan and Phil still needed to offer some way to carry goods home.
Demonstrating their true passion for the environment Susan and Phil introduced their clients to Boomerang Bags, by handing these cloth bags the conversation soon turned to the topic of reducing plastic pollution in the community. Since starting their war on waste Susan and Phil have seen a 50% reduction in disposal coffee cups and 100% reduction in single use plastic bags.
“By following our passion, we’re not only reducing waste, we have a point of difference to every other store on the strip, our clients spend more time in store, chatting over a coffee, sharing our ideas and picking up those few extras, what Susan and I are most proud is the increased community awareness in our community on the war on waste. ” say Phil
Health and Wellbeing
Clutter is rarely recognised for its added stress in our life and its environmental impact, yet excess things in your surroundings can have a negative impact on your ability to focus and process information.
In a study Core Data Happy Homes 2017
- A quarter (25.4%) of respondents say clutter creates stress or anxiety in their lives
- 5% say it impacts their happiness negatively.
- Similar proportion say clutter decreases their sense of self control
- (14.9%) or creates a sense of shame in them (13.9%)
In a study conducted by OfficeMax they found 46% of employees surveyed had difficulty segregating clutter from essentials.
Reduce Carbon Footprint
Operating on a paperless basis is not always possible, keeping waste to a minimum makes for sustainable business practices.
Did you know
- Every tree produces enough oxygen for 3 people to breathe
- It takes 300 – 400 ton or cubic meter of water to make one ton of paper. Source Paper on Web.
- It takes on average of 5 lt of water to produce one piece of A4 paper and Source Facts about Paper
Like anything, buying paper that suits your needs and purpose makes good business sense. Buying things that does not fulfill your needs and expectations adds clutter, waste money, time and resources, but where do you start in search of sustainable options?
Forest Stewardship Council
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo on a wood or wood-based product is your assurance that it is made with, or contains, wood that comes from FSC certified forests or from post-consumer waste. There are three types of FSC label: 100%, FSC Mix or FSC Recycled.
A carbon neutral paper means the paper has been manufactured by a paper mill that has measured their entire carbon footprint from the amount of greenhouse gases (carbon emissions) they produce through the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, manufacturing and transportation and their impact on the environment.
Post-Consumer Waste Paper
Paper made from 100% post-consumer waste is produced entirely from paper that comes directly out of your office or home recycling bin. Using post-consumer recycled paper helps eliminate the need for harvesting more virgin materials, and also creates a demand for the paper we recycle, thereby closing the recycling loop.
Rethinking sustainable business practices makes for good sense.
The 10R’s© Rethink Responsible Refuse Repurpose Reorganise Repair Reduce Reuse Recycle Reward