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! 🙂

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, 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.