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National Clean Off Your Desk Day
By Dr John Hogan
For as long as I can remember, people have promised themselves, their business associates, their personal family members and others to improve their performance and results each year with a series of resolutions. These promises to “do better” are hardly new, as online research1 shows:
The practice of New Year's resolutions, regardless of creed, usually reflects on self-improvement annually. Some of us resolve to provide more service to those less fortunate or to volunteer more financially or in time to charities. Others focus on self improvement with weight management, exercise, diet, or eliminating unhealthy habits like smoking or watching too much mindless television.
We know of our own personal success rates in relation to our own resolutions. There are countless studies that usually show that too many people tend to give up sometime in the first 30 to 60 days, yet we also personally know of at least some instances when success was achieved and positive changes did become permanent. I will share in another column later this month a roadmap of success that has been proven to work repeatedly for thousands of people around the world, but today I want to share a slightly different perspective on something an overwhelming number of us deal with.
Our office… our desk… our work space.
We all have our own ways of organizing ourselves, with the intent of making ourselves more efficient and able to handle our tasks. We organize our work space to use the blend of technology and paper and hope to make our lives more streamlined.
There are designated “days” on many calendars for unusual “holidays”. One that caught my attention is the National Clean Off Your Desk Day marked on some calendars for the second Monday in January.
For anyone who has ever worked with me, this topic should bring an immediate smile. You see, I am one of those people who always seems to be working on at least six different projects at a time, which means that by the end of the week my desk, office and workspace face the possibility of having five days of six projects all within reach and in a bit of a cluttered mess.
My business and life partner, Kathleen Hogan, is the exact opposite. She has a place for everything, keeps files and forms on an issue together and she does this electronically as well as with old school paper systems. While I may want to and should emulate her approaches, I often find myself slipping back to habits of piling, making lists and then spending time looking for what I need.
With those contrasts in mind, I am giving serious thought to new approaches, including:
A clean and neat desk has immediate advantages, such as helping us to focus our efforts, expand our thinking, increase our productivity and ability to perhaps earn more. The mess and the clutter are a distraction to our creativity and disrupts any freshness of mind space.
I am not making an actual resolution, but I do intend to follow more of what we viewed a few months ago at a company that seems to be one of the world’s best at managing space. While your office may or may not look like Ikea2 mock-ups, they do lend a sense of calm and purpose.
I use this example about managing space, because I feel that has become a trend of growing importance in hospitality design, management and the delivery of guest service. If we spend too much of our time in our office space being overwhelmed by routine repetition, sometimes meaningless reports and questionable processes, we are not out there sharing our hospitality as we need to be in the next decade.
About the author
John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is CEO and Co-Founder of HospitalityEducators.com, which has more than 1600 resource pages and has become the #1 independent website for hotel owners and managers. He is also the Principal of HoganHospitality.com, which offers hospitality consulting and hotel expert witness services.
KEYS TO SUCCESS™ is the umbrella title for our programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my "HOW TO" articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™ , THE P-A-R PRINCIPLE™ and Principles for Success.
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