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Organizing and Quick Clean Ups

The home office is a surprising repository for germs.  A study at the University of Arizona indicated that the average desktop has more bacteria than any surface in the bathroom!  Germs live on the telephone receiver, lurk on the desktops, and hide out underneath piles of clutter.

Clutter Be-Gone

To get at the surfaces that need cleaning, start by getting desk clutter under control, suggests The Soap and Detergent Association.  At first, this may seem overwhelming, but establishing a simple routine can work wonders.  The rule is:  Deal with it , File it   Pitch  It.  To put this rule into practice, make three piles.  Pile #1:  Deal with It is for anything that needs to be acted on immediately, such as bills to pay and messages to return.  Pile #2:  File It is for things that are not urgent, but need to be saved, such as bank statements, newspaper clippings, receipts, correspondences, etc. Label the sections in this pile by subject, month or category – whatever works best for you.  Pile #3:  Pitch It: is for things what need to be thrown away.  Toss or recycle these items.

Let the Cleaning Begin

Once the clutter is gone, cleaning can begin.  An all-purpose disinfectant cleaner will take care of dirt and germs on the phone and the desktop.  To keep these surfaces continuously clean, add a pop-up container of wipes to the roster of desk accessories.  Dust mitts and cloths, either the electrostatic variety or those embedded with a dusting product, are great for easy cleaning of picture frames, desktops, computer screens and office accessories.

OSU Extension

Working Smarter, Not Harder

When you're running your own business, the last quarter is usually the time you close your books, review your past accomplishments and promise to work smarter, not harder. Unfortunately, with the new year around the corner, it is also the time when you are likely to join the ranks of the “overwhelmed.”

You start the day with a positive attitude, ready to grow your business. But at day's end, you find that life's distractions have kept you from accomplishing your goals. Stop becoming overwhelmed by congratulating yourself on what you have achieved and immediately forgiving yourself for what you haven't. Then stay sane during times of change by:

Remembering that happiness is your end game. Of all the retirees I've met, the happiest are those that treated their businesses and their lives as a journey of discovery. Instead of stopping progress when roadblocks appear, choose the best action and take it. Your willingness to deal with all obstacles and frustrations, no matter what, provides the confidence and strength you need to create success in the real world.

Letting your passion rule. You will face many choices during the last couple months of the year. You will be tugged in one direction by social obligations and a desire to connect with your loved ones and in another by your desire to keep your business thriving. Focus on the big picture and let your passion tell you where to focus. You don't have to work 24 hours a day. You just have to work on what’s most important to you.

Creating specific short-term action steps to accomplish your goals. The world changes so quickly that your long-term goals will be altered as you learn what works and what doesn't. Break your larger tasks into action items that you can accomplish in short time frames. Write down your goal and then state actions you can take right now to start the process of achieving it. Taking action contributes to frequent successes and increased motivation.

Developing a To Do list nightly. Write down all the action items that you want to achieve the next day. Then prioritize them. Don't set yourself up for failure by putting too much on your list. Relax and think about your bigger picture. What's most important and what can you let go? Follow your To Do list each day and recognize that you’re accomplishing the most important stuff.

Realizing you don't have to do this alone. Achieve your maximum productivity on a given day and most tasks will soon become routine. Share your list with others and ask for help. You can hire an administrative person or a family member, even once a week, to take care of the routine tasks (invoicing, collecting payments) so you can concentrate on growing your business.

Success comes as you continue to build momentum through consistent effort. Following the five action steps above will relieve your stress and allow you to be a successful entrepreneur, friend and person during this magically frustrating time of year.

Author: Romanus Wolter (FeatureSource)
Editor’s Note: Author and Success Coach for “Entrepreneur Magazine,” Romanus Wolter is known as ”The Kick Start Guy." Romanus’ bestselling small business guidebook ‘Kick Start Your Dream Business’ provides the inspiration and practical action steps people need to close the gap between their goals and success. Discover more at or emailing him at


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