Five Ways to Spring Clean Your Personal and Professional Life

It’s spring! Finally, the sun is shining, the world is budding, the birds are chirping, and spring cleaning can begin. We usually think of spring cleaning our house, but here are five ways to spring clean your personal and professional life.

1. Get outdoors, or at least bring the outside in. Get outdoors to enjoy the fresh air, green grass and budding trees. Time in nature reduces our stress and improves our clarity. Walk to work if you can. Take a lunchtime stroll. Sit outside for some part of your day. Or, if work is keeping you inside more than you’d like, bring the outside in by adding plants to your office environment. Plants help oxygenate the air, which makes it easier to breathe. And greenery in the office has been shown to reduce anxiety and improve concentration.

2. Breathe in the fresh air. Deep breathing can relax the mind and body. Take a few moments each day to breathe deeply, especially outdoors if you have a low-emissions outdoor space to sit in or to stroll along. Try a meditative breath practice to cleanse your body and mind: Slow your breath, breathe in deeply, hold for a few seconds, and breathe out completely.

3. Enjoy a little “spring fever.” The world is changing, becoming colorful again, which sometimes makes us feel restless. We may need to make some changes and take time for things that make us happy. Set aside one day a month (or one day a week if you can manage it!) to do something that you enjoy: Have lunch with a friend, go for a walk, sit in the park, or take a nap.

4. Unclutter your office and desk. Clutter makes many people feel anxious, negatively affecting our ability to focus and process information. Take some time to clean out and reorganize your work space. File your papers. Move old files to storage. Shred and dispose of unnecessary paperwork. Even move your furniture around to create a more comfortable and conducive environment.

5. Detox your client list. Assess who and what is holding you back in your practice. Are there any clients that take more than their share of your resources — late-night calls, impossible to please, extreme delay paying invoices, or constant “fire drills”? Think about what your practice would be like without those clients. How could you use those same resources to improve your practice, your attitude and your bottom line? It might be worth it to fire a client in order to better use your resources for new clients who do not monopolize your time and energy, or compromise your sanity.

Jamie Spannhake
is a lawyer, mediator and certified health coach. She is a partner at Berlandi Nussbaum & Reitzas LLP, serving clients in New York and Connecticut, practicing in the areas of commercial litigation, estate planning, residential and commercial real estate, and business transactions. She writes and speaks on issues of interest to lawyers, including time and stress management, health and wellness, work-life balance, and effective legal writing.

Illustration ©iStockPhoto.com

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