Will I ever find that........
I wrote some time ago about a way to start feeling more organised and in control. I described a system recommended in Cyril Peupion's book Work Smarter: Live Better. This started with you considering the 'hats' you wear in your role - in words and categories that are meaningful to you. The second stage was the hard graft of sorting through every single file, document, saved item and email ruthlessly asking yourself questions and clearing the decks to be left with only what you need. The last stage was to organise what you have left using the categories you created in step 1.
You can choose to review and re-sort your working world at anytime but there are times where it fits more naturally. The traditional new year, starting a new job or before or after a holiday. When I moved to a new role I took a bit of time to think and then started on reviewing the 'stuff' I have around me. I have to confess the 'stuff' is everywhere. I did find the process of deciding on hats and sub hats a useful preparation as well as giving me clarity to start organising what I need to keep. This will inevitably be reviewed and changed over time - and that's the way it should work. We don't stay the same and usually our jobs don't either.
This article from Forbes suggests some other strategies along the theme of working smarter which also includes that we don't start from scratch each time we re-organise - rather we build and refine on what we've done in the past, what has worked and what hasn't. A system or process that didn't work for one role might suit in a new role. The article also has an intriguing idea on managing your email.
These first steps Cyril calls workflow management and a big component of that is avoiding information overload. Hence the need to ruthlessly and honestly review your hard and soft files. Your organising of the files left, is based on the categories you created for yourself and your role. You can't start thinking about planning your day, week or month or how to manage your email without de-cluttering and organising what you have around you.
Your working environment is the next step in Cyril's process.This short article from the New York Times may give you pause for thought about the state of your desk in a way that might surprise you.This info-graphic aligns with Cyril's suggestions. Either way you have to find what works for you. It's good to bear in mind and respect those around you or those who share your working space.
I said at the beginning of this post that I wrote some time ago, it was back in September 2017. As part of the I am no Jedi emails I covered the topic of organisation twice and it right now it feels like a galaxy far far away. It’s time to re-visit and re-vamp my organisation or not only the ‘stuff’ but the way I respond and manage the inflow to make the outflow - my work - productive and useful. I’ve been given some new tips and advice on email and inbox management that I’m going to test out because what I’m doing right now isn’t serving me. Watch this space I guess.