Going Solo

Going Solo

Wednesday, 26 September 2012 14:47

Giving your start-up a spring clean

I don’t know whether you have had time lately to stop and smell the blossoms but, in my part of the world, it is spring.


And that means time for a cleanup and a cleanout.


In the time honoured tradition of the gardening column, here’s what I will be doing in my workspace this week:


Cleaning up my desks – all of them


As what’s now known as a digital nomad, I have a desk wherever I happen to be. One at home, another one I share with my life partner who runs a totally different solo operation, and a shared co-operative one at Hub Melbourne, which is a different seat every time I get to it.


Plus the car and the train. But the country office is where most of my stuff is – hard copy files, reference books (yes books!) and the main internet server.


So that’s the area that can get overrun with receipts, notes, drafts, mail, folders –well, you get the picture.


I find it hard to have a thinking space in the middle of clutter and although cleaning up doesn’t feel like work, I invoke the decluttering mantra of ‘what am I making space for in my life?’ to raise the whole job to another level.

The space at the Hub is always tidy (mainly because I’m not in charge of it) but the other two require a clean sweep.


Cleaning up my act


This means getting rid of all the paperwork, meeting notes, drafts, redrafts and general accumulated detritus associated with a project.


Several of these were finished, although now I come to think of it, not paid for. Note: clean up the bills and invoices pile next.


Time to archive and recycle. And to file all the research notes for the next project. Try as we might, not all of this is digital, so there are always papers proliferating.


To celebrate the season I am purchasing folders in fuchsia, lime and tangerine. Knowing what colour something is sorted under saves so much vital searching time later. And they don’t cost more than the black ones, so why not?


Cleaning up my desktop


My computer desktop mirrors my real desk in that it seems to be littered with downloads, bits and pieces that I can’t decide where they go and odd pictures people have sent me that will be useful at some point.

Decision time – be ruthless. File or discard. Send them to the Cloud.


All this rubbish is slowing down my laptop’s performance anyway, so I have purchased an app that does the cleanup for me.


It manages to free up about 3 GB of space every time I send its little vacuum cleaner scurrying through the files under the digital desk making me feel virtuous and tidy.


Right, that’s better. Off to water the long-suffering indoor plant and buy a bunch of daffodils for the spotless space.


Let the new quarter of efficient, effective, targeted work begin!

Linnet empowers educators to communicate impressively as leaders. She offers individual coaching in the workplace and via skype, in-house workshops and public presentations. Contact Linnet at or follow her on Twitter @wildskycoach to find out how Linnet’s unique skill and use of language as action can open up rich possibilities for you.

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