A few days ago I was introduced to the concept of a 'Life Laundry Day.' It's a novel concept where you set aside one day each week (or month) and clean up not just the physical parts of your life, but the mental parts as well.
I usually set Sunday's aside. I get up early in the morning, as always, and make myself an extravagant breakfast. Cheerios are healthier, but there's something refreshing about a big breakfast once in a while that can't be passed up. I spend the morning in church, meditating on the past week and preparing mentally for the coming one. Lunch is usually spent with friends, catching up on one another's history or just chatting about what's new in the world.
I spend the next two hours or so actively cleaning. Everything on my desk is sorted into three piles:
- Completed work that needs to be filed
- Unimportant work that can be filed
I rarely have anything on my desk Sunday morning that is important enough to stay there Sunday night. It's relaxing to start Monday with a clean workspace!
Next comes the actual laundry, vacuuming the house, and tidying up the rest of my living spaces. It takes me maybe an hour to actually clean everything up at this point, so I take the rest of my time to pay bills and clear my mailbox.
I close up my day with a good movie and/or a great book. Spending time looking into someone else's world keeps the creative juices flowing and makes life much easier and more enjoyable in the long run.
I try my hardest to keep my computer off on Sundays. I have yet to receive a weekend email urgent enough to warrent my immediate attention, and surfing the web just distracts me from taking a rest day and clearing my mind of the mental struggles from the week.
Having a 'laundry day' at work can be useful, too. It's the one day a month where your entire staff clears out their desks, filing cabinets, and the common workroom. The result of this? A happier, more productive office staff with less things on their collective mind and a far simpler workweek than before.
Think of it as wiping everything clean and starting with a brand new whiteboard. How much more productive would your office be if today's notes didn't have to compete for space with notes from three months ago?