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Posts Tagged ‘simplify’

Organize your desk – Lean and clean!

Feb 26, 2011 1 comment

Inspired by a colleague who loves to clean up everything, I started to lean and clean my desk as well. Today, I have only my computer (flat screen, notebook, mouse (without mouse pad!), and keyboard), a telephone, a memo cube, and a cup with a ballpoint, a highlighter, and a pencil on my desk. No paper, no other stuff. Also the walls are empty, only one calendar, a clock, and a framed A0 printout of our mission statement.

This lean and clean surrounding helps me to focus onto my work and I feel much more organized and structured. Less distraction, less mess. 🙂

To achieve this, I started with putting all the papers and documents onto a big pile and worked through it according to my inbox processing and archiving behavior. I tried to throw away as much stuff as possible. To make this a little bit easier, I store sorted out papers temporarily in a box which I empty from time to time by first-in-first-out principle. This offers the possibility to buffer my trash a little bit and to have the chance to retrieve thrown away papers for some weeks or months. 😉

After sorting all my papers and after throwing away unnecessary stuff like additional cups, notepads, decoration, and other gadgets, I took a cloth and wiped the table. Perfect!

Since that, I try to keep my desk as clean as possible. I process all incoming documents and meeting notes according to my inbox processing and I archive (and throw away) everything right away. In addition, I try to work online to use as little paper as possible. For all working documents, that I can not avoid, I maintain a folder that I can put into the drawer easily in the evening. – And my desk is lean and clean. 🙂

And does it work? Definitely! Feedbacks from colleagues and customers confirm it and my achievements visualize it as well. I am more successful and more productive than ever before. – And I absolutely enjoy it! 🙂

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Daily Operations – How to manage my day?

Jan 19, 2011 6 comments

Basis for my daily operations is a reliable task management and a continuous inbox processing as well as a proper operational planning. While performing my daily operations, I follow three basic rules:

1. Single-tasking: I avoid working on several tasks at the same time because switching between active tasks just wastes my time by refocusing. Thus, I try to process one task after another.

2. Important tasks first: Every day, I start working on the most important tasks of the day before processing my inboxes or before reading news etc. Otherwise I might loose too much time without processing the important to-dos.

3. Buffer: Based on the findings of my time tracking, I started to structure my day more and more by adding buffers for several recurring activities:

– Inbox processing: I reserve about half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening for my daily mailbox processing and I “try” to keep my inbox closed for the rest of the day to stay focused on my tasks. I process my inbox as described in “inbox processing”.

– Unplanned activities: I add a buffer of about 30 minutes to my daily schedule for spontaneous ad hoc activities.

– Daily planning: Every morning, I need about 5 minutes to check what has to be done during the day. In the evening, I take about 10 minutes to reschedule tasks I could not complete and to update my journals. Every Friday, I widen my focus and check what is coming up during the next week.

Beside visiting meetings, I “simply” process my tasks according to the importance during the day. The importance is calculated based on the due date and the priority. Fortunately, toodledo.com is doing this for me.

Finally, whenever I complete a task, I decide what action has to follow the completed task to accomplish the overall measure/project and I add this to-do to my task management as next action.