How Clean Is Your Refrigerator?
Yesterday, November 15th was national “Clean Out the Refrigerator Day.” Time to put a clothespin on your nose and go through each shelf, one by one, while listening to “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” by The Clash. (Or not!)
This national day was supposedly created by Whirlpool in the late 1990s to encourage consumers to clean out their refrigerators before Thanksgiving. Makes sense – we must have room for the leftovers!
Instead of giving you cleaning tips about wiping shelves and vacuuming underneath and behind the refrigerator, let’s look at “Clean Out the Refrigerator Day” metaphorically.
What can you clean out of your business right before the holidays?
- How about that Rolodex®? Come on, we know you have one, even with technology, apps and card scanners. Pull it out. Go through it A to Z and see how many people you have kept in touch with and how many you have let slide. Use this opportunity to get in touch with people again – find out what they need or how you can be of service. Then - clean out the ones you will never contact again. It may hurt a little when you think of all those networking events you never capitalized on, but cleaning out the contacts is a good feeling at the same time.
- Phone contacts? We don’t really recommend getting rid of these because you just never know! But do take a look. Maybe you have duplicate entries for people that can be combined.
- Drawers and files. As much as we try to save trees, the files and papers certainly expand when we aren’t looking. Once a year (and why not now?), go through every drawer, every file. It may take you a few hours but it will be worth it. Did you really need to save that rough draft? Recycle your paper – print on the back.
- Piling up “to do” lists. What can you delegate? See if you can hand off some responsibilities. Next, prioritize. There must be some tasks that really don’t need doing on that list, and others that can be delayed. Use A’s, B’s and C’s or 1’s, 2’s and 3’s to prioritize your tasks and just figure out how you can un-bog yourself from the muck that is pulling you down. There’s a saying about don’t “should” yourself...you “should” do this and you “should” do that – and then guilt ensues. Just do what needs doing … the rest will still be there.
- Clean out your Inbox. Outbox. Drop Box. Talk about time consuming! Hopefully you have developed a system of ruthlessly deleting emails on the day they come in. For those of us ordinary people who don’t have such a system, this is going to be a drag. But it’s necessary, and it will lighten your load considerably, not to mention the time it takes to search for a certain email when you have fewer to sift through. You can Google different ways to go about this most efficiently. Some of us just sort by the “From” parameter and delete emails in groups. If there is a better way – please post a comment below!
Now thanks to your clean up time, your business life has a fresh clean start. If your refrigerator doesn’t have enough room to accommodate the traditional Thanksgiving dishes, it is pretty important to clean that out, too. (Be sure to clean the UFO’s out of the freezer as well, so you can enjoy your holiday meal long into the future.) Can you think of something else to clean out before the holidays that will improve your work efficiency? Should it stay or should it go? Let us know!
-The Brenner Blog Team