June 28, 2010
Liz published this at 8:24 am
Move that Stuff
A colleague in publishing once told me, “I can tell your productivity level by the amount of stuff around your desk.”
I checked my team at the time, the situation was the same for them. As the action of a project went faster, the piles around their desks got higher and wider. I also noticed that those collections of stuff did more than steal space …
Piled-up stuff steals time, decreases productivity, and causes stress.
As our piles move outward and get higher, we spend time:
- visually scanning.
- moving farther to get what we need.
- remembering what each pile if for.
It’s a great rule to decide on every item as it enters our command center, choosing to
- Do it.
- Delegate it.
- Dump it.
I find that I sometimes need more information before I can move on any of those three. Which means that some things end up in the option called
- It Depends …
and that’s when the piles start neatly forming. It was the same for my team. A reset strategy was called for.
A 30-Minute Strike Force Strategy to Increase Productivity
When the piles start to slow down progress try this 30-minute strategy to get back to a Command Center that works for you and your productivity.
- Choose your ground. Great commanders don’t try to conquer the world in one day. Pick one field that deserves your attention — your desk, your inbox, your favorites, your LinkedIn page, your blog.
- Have a clear strategy before you start. Know your priorities and purpose going in. Define your allies and enemies. If you’ve not used something for 3 months why is it next to your keyboard? If you don’t want design work why do you talk so much about it on your LinkedIn page.
- Be on a lethal mission. Set a 30 minute time in which to sort what you’ll keep and what you’ll delete or throw away. (If you make a defer / delegate pile, put it farther and make it smaller than the trash bin. If you live a week without touching anything in that pile, dump it. You’ll survive fine.)
- Organize what’s left and define the space. Set the things you use most often closest to you. Decide how much time you can commit to maintain this.
- Claim your rewards and Celebrate. Take a few minutes to survey your work with your favorite reward.
- Leverage this process for the future. Try it in a new space.
The sense of accomplishment that comes from taking control is possibly the best motivator I know. I just was lethal with my workspace and that’s what led this blog post
And I’m still claiming my reward – workspace that’s working for me again.
Thinking about what I’ll tackle next …
What about you? Where would a 30-minute Strike Force Strategy increase your productivity?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
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