How to beat the physical graffiti
By Robyn Pearce
Do you remember your mother saying, 'Pick up your clothes (or books, or
toys, or whatever)?
Funny thing is, a modified version of the same philosophy - 'Put it
away as you go' - applies at the highest level of business. Perhaps it's
because our mothers told us to do it that so many seemingly
well-organised, highly paid and otherwise neatly turned-out adults ignore
this sage piece of advice!
How many desks do you see covered with dead trees and miscellaneous
equipment? How many drawers and cupboards hide a fascinating selection of
junk? How many factories and workshops have areas with an embarrassing
mess of lurking clutter? What's the archival storage room like? (And how
about your home garage?)
Piles of 'stuff' are physical graffiti, a visible sign of deferred
Next time you open the mail, pick up a file or handle any object, take
a second to decide where it needs to go before it jumps out of your hand.
This is not to say that you major in minor things, running around all day
putting things away. However, once the decision is made you can safely put
things in a pile (either on the floor beside you, or just out of eye range
to avoid distraction) and quickly put them away the next time you stand
up. If you think you'll forget your decision, pencil the destination on
the top right-hand corner of the paper or attach a temporary post-it note.
The trick is - don't let yourself leave your workstation without the
latest 'put-away' material. Whilst the action is still fresh in your mind
you will only take seconds to put things away. Someone's waiting? Even the
most important person will wait 30 seconds; you'll feel efficient; and it
feels great when you walk back in to your tidy office.
About the author: Robyn Pearce, of TimeLogic
Corporation, has helped 1000's of folks in 'Getting a grip on their time'.
for FREE subscription to her email that includes "how-to"
practical time management assistance, books, tapes, products, and more.
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