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If you’re among the many people who have been working from home for over a year, it may be time to spruce things up and clean your space. Papers tend to get shuffled into stacks, odds and ends tend to get crammed into drawers. It’s a good idea to take some time to pay attention to your work space.

Why tidy your home office?

For one, it will make things easier to find and keep track of. Though you may have to invest a few hours to clean your space now, you’ll save time in the future.

Secondly, having a clean work area can help put you in the right mindset. Decluttering your space can help to declutter you mind, reduce stress, and increase self-esteem. You’ll likely find yourself breathing easier once you’ve tidied up your space.

Where to begin cleaning?

Start by taking a good look at your work space and thinking about what needs to be improved. Are you in need of a new filing system? Could you benefit from a “to do” box? Would a large whiteboard calendar be useful for organizing? Are you thinking about swapping out your current desk for a standing desk? Identify your big-picture needs before getting to work.

Quick Tips for Home Office Cleaning:

  • Remove the clutter. It can be helpful to take everything out of your office before putting anything back in. That way, you can thoroughly clean the space and start afresh with your organization.
  • Sort papers efficiently! Create a recycling pile, a shred pile, and a filing pile. Once you have your filing pile, turn on some background music and get to work! Make sure your file folders are logical and well-labeled.
  • Make sure everything has a home. Even your paperclips and sticky notes deserve a place in your office.
  • Group similar items. For instance, you might create a letter station filled with envelopes, paper, stamps, mailers, and return address labels.
  • Buy drawer organizers. It’s easy to cram everything into a drawer and forget about it. Instead, shell out a few dollars for small, plastic drawer divers, like these by Madesmart.
  • Be logical. Keep the things you use the most (pens, notebooks, sticky notes, etc.) handy and within reach.
  • Commit to tidiness. Once you’ve revamped your space and reworked your filling and organizing systems, be sure to stick to them! Once per week, set aside time to take care of any filing or other organizational tasks that need to be done. If you keep up on the work, it won’t feel nearly as daunting.

Happy spring! Have fun reorganizing your space.


MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY (AND DEEPER DISCOVERY) LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 
CHECK OUT MARGARET’S ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE.

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How do you feel when you know something is a “sure thing?” When actions are familiar and easy—driving a car, making a familiar recipe, doing a daily task at work—you do them almost automatically. You know you’ll achieve what you’ve set out to do. These everyday, routine tasks can be thought of as wins—tiny victories that are a sure bet.

But what if we dared to believe that other, bigger actions were also wins? What if we assumed we will give a flawless presentation, sign on a new client, or solve a problem?

There’s a certain amount of swagger and confidence that accompanies this “I already won” mentality. If you’re certain, for instance, that you’re going to sign on a new client, your body language, tone, and the content of your speech changes. You convey that this action will happen. It’s inevitable.

Using the above example, you might start speaking to the potential new client using different language and terms. You might say, “When we start working together,” instead of “If we end up working together.” Or, you might say, “You’re going to love X, Y, and Z,” instead of, “If we work together, you’ll enjoy X, Y, and Z.”

Using stronger, more confident language is only one positive side effect of an “I already won” mentality. You’ll also find that your body language changes. You may become more relaxed and less anxious or tense. You won’t sound desperate to land the client or nervous that you said the wrong thing. When your body language relaxes, you’ll end up seeming more approachable and inviting—qualities people tend to appreciate.

When you’re confident that you will achieve a certain victory, you start moving beyond the stage where you worry and fret about the outcome and begin thinking about what you will do once you’ve accomplished what you’ve set out to do. This way of thinking is productive and forward-looking.

And what happens if you DO fail?

It’s bound to happen at some point, but my best advice is this: Don’t dwell on it. It likely wasn’t your confidence or approachability that was the problem; it was something else. Maybe a potential client simply couldn’t afford your offering. Maybe you didn’t get that promotion because you needed to have a certain certificate. Whatever the case, it’s best to pick yourself up, re-strategize, and keep moving forward.

With confidence.


MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY (AND DEEPER DISCOVERY) LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 
CHECK OUT MARGARET’S ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE.

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If you’re like many people I know, you’re feeling a bit worn out and beat down. Maybe you’re feeling isolated or overwhelmed by work or life commitments. Maybe you’re sick and tired of cold weather. Or maybe you’re simply weary from the long pandemic and the unusual route our lives have taken over the past year. Whatever the case, now is the time to turn inward for a time and work on building up your resilience.

Building resilience takes time and effort. It’s an ongoing process–something you’ll have to chip away at throughout your life. But the effort is worth it. Your resilience will help you weather life’s storms and prepare you to overcome the everyday annoyances (flat tires, illnesses, burnt dinners, missed deadlines) that we often encounter.

How can you build your resilience and strengthen your mental fortitude? Try one or a few of these four methods:

1. Imagine yourself on the other side

If you’re staring down a particularly troubling problem OR even if you’re feeling less than your best, try thinking about the future. Take a few minutes to sit quietly and imagine life AFTER you’ve overcome your problems. How do you feel? What does life look like? What are you doing?

Thinking about a bright future does two things:

1) It opens you to the possibility that things CAN and WILL get better. This puts you in a better place, mentally and emotionally.

2) It gets you into problem-solving mode. Instead of dwelling on your current woes, you’ll be thinking ahead, which can help you begin to brainstorm how to get to your desired state.

2. Pay attention to your thoughts

You are what you think. If you’re constantly down on yourself, pessimistic, and hopeless, those thoughts will become reality. Thoughts are powerful. They frame our entire existence and carry us from day to day. If you are constantly thinking you can’t do something, you probably won’t do it. It’s really that simple.

Start paying attention to what goes through your mind. If you catch yourself thinking negatively about something, pause and take a step back. How can you reframe that thought? What narrative can you tell yourself instead? What silver lining or bit of hope can you focus on instead of negative aspects? Tuning in and challenging your pessimistic thoughts can set you up to be more resilient and able to roll with the punches.

For more advice on overcoming negative self-talk, please CLICK to read my past blog post on the subject.

3. Practice good self-care

When you’re feeling downtrodden, it could be that you simply need to take some meaningful time for yourself to rejuvenate and reinvigorate. Taking a break (even a short one) can renew your confidence, energize you, and prepare you to face the challenges that lie ahead. If you’d like a few self-care ideas, click HERE.

4. Reach out to others

You don’t have to build resilience on your own. In fact, it’s healthy to reach out to others when you’re feeling low and lean on them for a little support. Seek out those who are caring and compassionate, good listeners, and empathetic. At times, all you really need is a listening ear–someone to help you process difficult moments. Of course, it’s not fair to take, take, take and never give back. Be there for others when they need you, too. The best relationships are reciprocal, and chances are, you’ll find satisfaction in helping others on their journeys as well.

It’s best to reach out to multiple people (or even support groups or a counselor), so you’re not fully reliant on one person. This can be your web–a network of individuals who can catch you when you fall and help you bounce back.

You ARE a resilient person and you CAN make it through difficult times. Make a concerted effort to practice self-reflection, take good care of yourself, and reach out to others when you need a little extra support. You’ve got this.


MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY (AND DEEPER DISCOVERY) LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 
CHECK OUT MARGARET’S ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE.

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