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Order From Chaos


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Order From Chaos

  1. 2. Order From Chaos A 6-Step Plan for Organizing Yourself, Your Office, and Your Life AUTHOR: Liz Davenport PUBLISHER: Three River Press Ny, Random House Inc. DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2001 NUMBER OF PAGES: 215 pages Book pic
  2. 3. <ul><li>Liz Davenport offers an easy system to help you clean up your act. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you find yourself missing important deadlines, forgetting to return calls, and misplacing papers, then follow these six simple steps to organizational freedom. </li></ul></ul>THE BIG IDEA
  3. 4. Why get or organized? <ul><li>The average businessperson wastes 150 hours each year just looking for stuff. </li></ul><ul><li>If you got organized, you could accomplish more, and take longer vacations, ultimately freeing your workspace, and your mind, of unnecessary clutter. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 1 The Cockpit Office   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Create a space where you have only the essential tools you need to do your work. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 2 Air Traffic Control   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use a single “radar screen” to keep track of the day’s appointments, to-do’s, and notes relevant to that day. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If you are using too many different calendars, chances are you will forget something because of having too many places to look, on the refrigerator, one you carry, another on your desk, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 3 The Pending File   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To get rid of clutter, this idea works best. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 5. Why get or organized? <ul><ul><ul><li>A paper that requires action later but doesn’t need its own file folder can be noted on Air Traffic Control then placed in the Pending File, hence it is filed, but not forgotten. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 4 Make decisions   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Much of the clutter surrounding you is generated by unmade decisions. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Save it or trash it? Each decision should not take you more than 30 seconds. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 5 Prioritize ongoingly   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Only 15% of daily interruptions are truly worth your attention. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learn to say “No” more often. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 6 Plan your day. End your day. Clean off your desk at the end of the day.   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Planning your day means reviewing your radar screen first thing in the morning. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 6. Why get or organized? <ul><ul><ul><li>At the end of your day, check off tasks accomplished. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reschedule tasks that have not been completed. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cleaning up at the end of the day gives you a sense of closure, and helps make things easier to clean out at the end of the week, month, or year. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 7. The Physical Environment <ul><li>Preorganizing </li></ul><ul><li>Creating a Vacuum </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A vacuum means some extra space in drawers, bookcases, filing cabinets, and closets. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People stop filing when files become jam-packed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then a pile begins to grow on your desk and before you know it you are buried in stacks of papers. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vacuum-creating Rules: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t get bogged down. Box the old stuff and put it in a closet out of sight. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get these supplies: Storage containers and several plastic boxes with lids. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create these boxes: Label one “to-do now”, another “to-do later”, and a third “Archive”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clearly label what you archive with a dark marker and write in big bold letters. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. The Physical Environment <ul><ul><li>Group like objects: Tax forms and legal documents, Memorabilia, Old Client Files </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Throw away 95% of the old stuff. It’s a fact that 95% of everything you saved over the past six months may be considered trash. Keep only legal papers and documents. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Start at the End, not at the Beginning  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start with the oldest stuff and work towards the most recent stuff on your desk. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be sure to go through the closet that is scariest to open, first. The last place to clear is your desk. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Closet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take everything out, and identify stuff by category as you go. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Label boxes. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep those extra office supplies on a more convenient shelf, or use a box labeled “scratch paper”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decide whether to toss, recycle or keep. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 9. The Physical Environment <ul><ul><li>If you must keep, put it in its proper category and labeled box. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The least used items must be kept out of sight. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create as much empty space as you can. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bookcase(s) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Empty the bookshelf, identifying categories again as you go. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decide whether to trash or recycle items. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep only the current phone directory and reference books. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Filing cabinet(s) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you have a filing system where you are able to find things, don’t change it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid using A-Z filing systems because if you do not remember the name of the file you will have a difficult time looking for it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a more general system. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. The Physical Environment <ul><li>Create Drawer Categories. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have major categories. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can have “Clients”, “Projects”, “Reference Material”, “Contracts”, for instance. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Never use the category “Miscellaneous”. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Create larger categories within each drawer. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The rule of thumb is if a file does not have more than 20 pieces of paper in it, then the title is too specific. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In “household” you can have a category “car stuff” which holds the insurance, repairs, registration and anything to do with the car. The most recent paper goes in front. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t ask “How should I file this?” but “How will I use this?”  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The receipts for bills we pay can be filed in 12 folders, one for each month from January to December. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When you have paid the bill, whether it be for the phone, your credit card or gas, just drop the receipt in the month you paid for.  </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. The Physical Environment <ul><li>Color code </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clients can be red. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Administration can be blue. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Finances may be green. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Just use colored markers to highlight the labels in color so you don’t have to go out and buy a dozen colored folders. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t be surprised at the amount of trash you are generating as you follow this process. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Computer files </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Computer files and paper systems are handled in the same manner. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use the folders in your computer as you would your physical filing cabinet. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As you create new files, save them according to your new system. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trash old files as you go. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Label a folder as Archive, Clients, Household, and within each folder there should be more folders. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 12. The Physical Environment <ul><li>Boxes under/around the desk. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Again, 95% of the stuff under your desk is trash. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Desk drawers. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dump out the entire drawer then place the items you deem worthy back into the appropriate drawer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Remember to group like items. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Having a “personal” drawer is a big help. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This is where the purse, hairbrush, and candy go. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Now take a look around your office and feel the freedom from distractions gently come upon you. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You must be feeling lighter already. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Celebrate your newfound feeling of physical and emotional lightness! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>Setting up </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anything used daily should be within hand’s reach. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anything used on a weekly basis should be within arm’s reach. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anything used monthly should be in the office. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anything used less often should not be there. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be back in a second </li></ul><ul><ul><li>That second actually takes us 20 minutes on average before we get back to our desks to work. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In a regular office, you interrupt yourself by “getting a cup of coffee, going to the restroom, or having a cigarette”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you have a home office, you have even more time-wasting opportunities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Water the plant, put in another load of laundry, walk the dog” </li></ul></ul></ul>STEP 1: The Cockpit Office
  13. 14. <ul><ul><li>You may also forget why you stood up to go get something, (scissors, a letterhead, a stamp) in the first place. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This is why we need to have all our essential tools within easy reach to avoid self-interruptions. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The trick is you do not have to leave your chair to go get it. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Office Layout </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In a study done to identify the most productive office environment the following four components were noted: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A minimum space of 10 ft by 10 ft </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A door you can close </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A phone you can turn off </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A minimum of 30 square feet of open desk space (meaning desk space with no computer, phone or lamp on it) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The most effective desk configuration is a U. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>At the bottom of the U, place your computer. </li></ul></ul></ul>STEP 1: The Cockpit Office
  14. 15. <ul><ul><ul><li>One side of the U is for project work or tasks that take about one hour or so to complete. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The other side of the U is for those crisis/interruptions that take minutes to complete such as faxing a letter, filling up a form or opening the mail. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>L is the second-best layout, with the computer at the junction of the two arms. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The third best layout is two parallel desks. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The least efficient layout is a straight line. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Open desk space </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep mementos to a minimum. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You need room to work. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This is the reason we head for the kitchen or dining table when it is cleared after a meal so we can do our projects at home. </li></ul></ul></ul>STEP 1: The Cockpit Office
  15. 16. <ul><li>Interruptions versus Concentration  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Suggestions to improve productivity: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Close the door and mute the phone. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Studies show that a project that would take an hour to complete if you are not interrupted takes about four hours to complete if you are. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Create a fake door. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hang a “Do not disturb” sign across the entrance of your cubicle so coworkers will honor it. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forward your calls to someone else or unplug it. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use voice mail or answering machines. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do project work in a quieter space like a conference room, an empty office or at home. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If your office allows you to wear headphones, play a CD or tape of waves to drown out surrounding noise and increase concentration. </li></ul></ul></ul>STEP 1: The Cockpit Office
  16. 17. <ul><li>Four “must-haves” for every Cockpit  </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A desktop file </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An In box </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A To-Read box </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A To-File box </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The desktop file contains current files used daily. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>These are projects your are working on at the moment, clients you are currently working with, references used daily, and repetitive tasks performed daily like fax and email. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Current projects/clients, frequently repeated tasks, directories you use everyday, and blank fax cover sheets should be in your desktop file. </li></ul></ul></ul>STEP 1: The Cockpit Office
  17. 18. <ul><li>The desktop file at home: (place near a huge trash can) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Categories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bills to pay </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Things to file </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Things to read </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Things to take to office </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One for each family member </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The In Box </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Everything new goes into the In Box. There are two In Box rules: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allot a minimum of one hour each day to deal with all the new information you receive. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t forget the virtual inbox such as email, faxes, voice mail, cell phone messages, etc. also other items where you place newly received information like your purse, bag or the front passenger seat of your car. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>STEP 1: The Cockpit Office
  18. 19. <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Whether you are a morning person or a night person, the time to attack the In Box is when you are sharpest and most alert. Make it a routine time each day. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Once you take something out of the In Box it should go someplace else. Every In Box must be emptied by the end of the day. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The To-Read Box </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We seldom get around to reading everything we put aside to read. How do you purge? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Take everything out of your To-Read box. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Select the three to five most important materials to read and put them back in the box. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Throw the rest in the trash. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The higher a stack of In Box files and To Read files, the more guilt is piled on your self day after day. </li></ul></ul>STEP 1: The Cockpit Office
  19. 20. <ul><ul><ul><li>If you have more than three inches of files in these boxes, you will be overwhelmed by a stack of guilt you simply cannot bear to look at. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The To-File box </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How often do you file? As soon as your To-File box becomes full. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Rest of the Tools in your Cockpit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An Enormous Wastebasket </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If the stuff is not needed, throw it away. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If it merits a category, file it there. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If you have an answer to How Will I Use This? Then file it in the place it will most likely be used. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Note: Crumpled pieces of paper take up more space in a trashcan than flat pieces of paper. </li></ul></ul></ul>STEP 1: The Cockpit Office
  20. 21. <ul><ul><li>Pencil holder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One thing you need to learn to throw away: pens that don’t write anymore. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>We have a bad habit of sticking these pens back in the pencil holder. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>File Folders/hanging folders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep a fresh supply on hand so you can add categories as needed. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rolodex and Blank Cards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The most efficient system of keeping business cards and contact information is the 360-degree Rolodex. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This way you can’t keep piling things on top like with a flat Rolodex. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Just file the cards alphabetically, and if you don’t have 20 minutes to sort out your business cards, ask a friend or even a child to help you out. </li></ul></ul></ul>STEP 1: The Cockpit Office
  21. 22. <ul><ul><li>Paper versus Electronic Rolodexes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If your system catches a virus, electronic Rolodexes can be very risky. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Paper is faster even if it is bulky. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Always have a paper backup to your computerized mailing list, so it can be retyped when necessary. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep the most recent phone books, white pages, and yellow pages on a shelf near the phone. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep the most recent copy of your organizational directory within easy reach as well. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note Cards/Thank-you notes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In the age of e-mail we find it more meaningful whenever we receive handwritten note cards that congratulate us or thank us. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>So keep a nice little file of your personal handwritten notes to look at when you’re feeling down, and also a nice supply of blank ones to write on and send out to people whose day you would like to brighten up. </li></ul></ul></ul>STEP 1: The Cockpit Office
  22. 23. <ul><ul><ul><li>Your email message can be easily deleted, but a warm thank-you note will be kept for a longer time. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stamps of various denominations, a postage scale, and postage rates chart </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If you do all your own mailing, this is an essential timesaver. You won’t have to waste time standing in line at the post office. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Customizing your Cockpit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you keep borrowing an item, buy one of your own. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you keep getting up to get something to finish the job, bring it back to the cockpit and keep it there. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you always lose your scissors, buy more than one pair. </li></ul></ul>STEP 1: The Cockpit Office
  23. 24. <ul><li>Stuff you may need in your cockpit: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A comfortable chair </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good lighting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A clock </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paper stand/holder for typing ease </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business stationery and envelopes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special paper, mailing labels, colored paper, certificate paper, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Return address labels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Telephone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Computer, fax, typewriter, printer, scanner, copier </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Replacement ink cartridges for the above </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mouse pad, wrist rest, foot rest (tools for proper ergonomics) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Floppy disks, Zip disks, Jaz disks, blank CDs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stapler and stapler remover </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tape (regular, double-sided, masking, duct) </li></ul></ul>STEP 1: The Cockpit Office
  24. 25. <ul><ul><li>Rubber bands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paper clips </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Correction fluid/tape </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Calculator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hole puncher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference manuals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pen/pencil refills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scratch paper/sticky notes (in a drawer not on the desktop) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Calendar </li></ul></ul>STEP 1: The Cockpit Office
  25. 26. <ul><li>Here is the Air Traffic Control single radar screen for each day’s solution in a nutshell: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Write everything down. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write it all down in the same place. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write it all down in a time-sensitive manner. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write both personal and business into your system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Air Traffic Control is a single radar screen for each individual day. You must be able to see on your radar screen: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Appointments set out in the hours of the day. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To-do’s listed with an easy way to prioritize them. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Related notes, such as maps to meeting places, agenda items, ideas to discuss, phone numbers, design layouts, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The average human can only remember seven units of information in the short-term. </li></ul>STEP 2: Air Traffic Control
  26. 27. <ul><li>Day versus Week/Month-at-a-glance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A calendar-based system allows you to schedule tasks on the appropriate day. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Air Traffic Control allows you to look at things you need to act on today. It’s less overwhelming. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you leave papers out on your desk to remind you to do something, then Air Traffic Control is the tool that eliminates this clutter problem. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You simply write down the information in the Air Traffic Controller system then file the paper in the appropriate place. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One radar screen replaces all the sticky notes, and copies of things. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You will be amazed how many pieces of paper can be thrown away once you have written down what they were there to remind you of. </li></ul></ul></ul>STEP 2: Air Traffic Control
  27. 28. <ul><ul><li>The more stressed we are, the less we can remember. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One of the best ways to become religious about writing everything down is to tell your family, friends, and coworkers that if they do not see you write it down, it won’t get done. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With Air Traffic Control, you will have exactly what you need, when you need it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No more forgetting to take the sticky note with the information on it. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Air Traffic Control and the IRS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Air Traffic Control is also great for documentation; say if the IRS is auditing you. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It is your own legal documentation of your clients and other pertinent information so the IRS will know you are not making up your numbers. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It is a legally admissible document because it is a system. </li></ul></ul></ul>STEP 2: Air Traffic Control
  28. 29. <ul><ul><ul><li>It is a dated book/chart of events, not a pile of scraps of paper and sticky notes. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>How to Create an Air Traffic Control System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is simply dated pages in a ring binder, with two pages for each day. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The week-at-a-glance format does not allow enough room to write all the tasks you need to accomplish in a given day, nor does it have room for notes. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can make one by taking a spiral notebook and dating all the pages ahead of time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Leave the last page without a date and write “future” on it. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For the next book, transfer all “future” notes at that time. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gather all your current tracking systems, most people use two or three of the following: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Small calendars in your purse </li></ul></ul></ul>STEP 2: Air Traffic Control
  29. 30. <ul><ul><ul><li>Small calendars in your purse </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Desk pad calendars </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wall calendars </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Company monthly calendars </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Family calendars on the fridge at home </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Notes in a computer system </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Paper pads where you take notes during meetings and phone calls </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Notes in project or client files </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Piles on the desk </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Piles on the floor </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sticky notes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bulletin boards </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stacking trays </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reminders from people </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Things stuck to the sun visor in the car </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Notes on the bathroom mirror </li></ul></ul></ul>STEP 2: Air Traffic Control
  30. 31. <ul><ul><ul><li>E-mails/voice mails requiring action that have not been deleted </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enter everything in your Air Traffic Controller Book </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use letters or numbers to prioritize tasks. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember this is an “Options” list, not a “Do or die” list. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Schedule bigger tasks as appointments with yourself. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference other source materials. Write “Client file” or CF for taking note where the reference to a task is. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you don’t know when the best time is to do something, write it down somewhere before the deadline. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminate old tracking systems. Stop using all those other systems we referred to above. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a special place for your book and keep it open at all times, except when you bring it with you of course. </li></ul></ul>STEP 2: Air Traffic Control
  31. 32. <ul><ul><li>Take Air Traffic Control with you everywhere, especially to meetings and lunches, and social gatherings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell everyone what you are doing. When friends and family don’t see you writing it down, they know it won’t get done. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Personalize your Air Traffic Controller </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For women, it can be made into a purse by adding a zipper pouch for cash and plastic holders for credit cards and driver’s license. You may also add: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Frequently used phone numbers and addresses </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sections for individual projects and organizations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A few postage stamps in a pocket </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A pocket for business cards </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A few company brochures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A calculator </li></ul></ul></ul>STEP 2: Air Traffic Control
  32. 33. <ul><ul><li>Remember to carry only things you use everyday. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Advanced Air Traffic Control Techniques </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scheduling backwards avoids the stress of deadlines. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If you have a report due on the 30 th , plan backwards from the due date, this allows you enough time to budget for tasks you need to accomplish from there. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be selective about what you write down. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If you run out of notes pages for one day, use a blank or unfilled up page from a previous day and make a footnote at the bottom “Go to page..” or carry blank note pages and insert as needed. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This is handy when the information recorded will be filed away later in the client’s file or project file. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Common complaints from new users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ This will take too much time”. </li></ul></ul>STEP 2: Air Traffic Control
  33. 34. <ul><ul><ul><li>It only takes about ten minutes a day to maintain Air Traffic Control. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If real Air Traffic Controllers were as disorganized as the rest of us, would you want to fly at the airport they control? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The short amount of time you spend consulting Air Traffic Control is well worth it, or else you may crash before the end of the day. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I don’t want to do all that writing” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You are already doing a lot of writing. You just need to do it all in one place. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I forget to look at it” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep it open on your desk at all times. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ It’s too heavy to carry around” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>As with your cockpit, your book should not hold anything you use less than once a week. </li></ul></ul></ul>STEP 2: Air Traffic Control
  34. 35. <ul><ul><li>“ It’s too hard to coordinate with other people’s schedules.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Well try talking to your spouse every morning to discuss the plan for the day, week, or weekend? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate with coworkers and iron out the details of your schedules together. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Electronic versus Paper </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Electronic systems are not recommended. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It requires more discipline to maintain an electronic system than a paper system. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Many people have lost information because of dead batteries, or a bug in the software program. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Many people go back to paper after trying to use electronic systems. </li></ul></ul></ul>STEP 2: Air Traffic Control
  35. 36. <ul><li>This will be the most used file in your office. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is where odd bits of paper that are important and require action go, but they do not necessarily require their own file. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The primary Pending File Law is: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nothing ever goes into the Pending File that does not first get written down in Air Traffic Control. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How to set up a Pending File: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a file folder and write “Pending” on the label. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Put it in your Desktop File. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gather all the odd bits of information floating around the desk. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write down the task or appointment on the appropriate day in your Air Traffic Controller. </li></ul></ul>Step 3: The Pending File
  36. 37. <ul><ul><li>Write a P at the end of the task/appointment to remind you where the paper is. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Put the paper in the Pending File and forget about it until your Air Traffic Control reminds you. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>So once you have created a vacuum, your Cockpit Office, an Air Traffic Control System and a Pending File you can then: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create One System for Everything </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gather all your papers both business and personal. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Make one big pile on your desk. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find each and every paper a home by either throwing it away, writing it down as a task and filing it away, putting it in either the Pending, To Read, or To File box or the Desktop File if it is current. </li></ul></ul></ul>Step 3: The Pending File
  37. 38. <ul><ul><li>Personalize your Cockpit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Create trays and stations for frequently created piles or repeated tasks (bill payment station, faxing station, mailing station, etc) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Create group stations for frequently created tasks in common with coworkers. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Create boxes for repetitive tasks requiring transport </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>System Maintenance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When files get too cumbersome, see if the back half of the file can be eliminated. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When file drawers get too full, toss or archive. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When bookcases are too full, toss or archive. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Check your Cockpit occasionally to make sure items and tools are where they should be. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Add or delete trays, stations, systems, and boxes as they are needed or become obsolete. </li></ul></ul></ul>Step 3: The Pending File
  38. 39. <ul><li>Look at your Air Traffic Controller to assess how many tasks you accomplish each day on average. </li></ul><ul><li>Estimate the number of times you say “no” each day. </li></ul><ul><li>Subtract the average number of completed tasks from 190 (or whatever you assess your daily average of incoming calls, information, and mail is) to determine the number of times you must say “no”. </li></ul><ul><li>Create at least five sticky notes with “No!” and the number you arrived at from doing the math above. </li></ul><ul><li>Post these sticky notes wherever requests for your time come from such as door frame, phone, In Box, Air Traffic Control, desk pad, computer, dinner table, rear view mirror. </li></ul><ul><li>Make decisions as request for time are made of you. </li></ul>STEP 4: Decide NOW!
  39. 40. <ul><li>Ask yourself “What’s the task?” about everything and everyone. </li></ul><ul><li>When you know what the task is, ask yourself “Do I have time to do it?” </li></ul><ul><li>Find a Realistic potential date in your Air Traffic Controller and write it down as an appointment or task. </li></ul><ul><li>When asked to change plans, use Air Traffic Controller to illustrate your current plan and request reasonable additions or deletions. </li></ul><ul><li>Stop believing in “later”, there is only “now” and “too late”. </li></ul><ul><li>Handle each piece of paper twice: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Once when you receive it, identify the task </li></ul></ul>STEP 4: Decide NOW!
  40. 41. <ul><ul><li>Write it down as a task or appointment in your Air Traffic Controller, and the second time when you perform the task or keep the appointment. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Find a home for each piece of paper. </li></ul><ul><li>If there is no place, do you need a new file/tray/station/system/box? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If yes, create it now or make a note in your Air Traffic Controller as to when you will create it. </li></ul></ul>STEP 4: Decide NOW!
  41. 42. <ul><li>Identify your priority. </li></ul><ul><li>Create sticky notes with your priority, or a symbol of it, and replace the “No” sticky notes of the previous week. </li></ul><ul><li>Choose a prioritizing method: By letter and number, color, or invent your own. </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritize your list each day using your priority. </li></ul><ul><li>Fill in the heart line on today’s list: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make baby steps each day to progress toward the larger vision or goal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make it something that is bigger than yourself, and makes your heart sing. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prioritize each and every interruption and request for your time against your priority. </li></ul>STEP 5: Prioritize Ongoingly
  42. 43. <ul><li>If it matches your priority, measure it against your progress on your prioritized daily list. </li></ul><ul><li>Stop giving positive reinforcement for negative behavior. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discourage and eliminate 85% of the interruptions each day that waste your time. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Review the potential benefits to the company with your boss. </li></ul>STEP 5: Prioritize Ongoingly
  43. 44. <ul><li>Plan your day  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Before your day starts, prioritize your list. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review your appointments. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Schedule larger tasks as appointments (no more than six hours) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fill in your heart line. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Acknowledge you have enlisted the help of your greatest ally – your subconscious. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Schedule focus time as needed and arrange for location. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Work your plan  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assemble tools for Task 1. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Begin work on Task 1. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When you are done, put away tools for Task 1. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assemble tools for Task 2. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Begin work on Task 2. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continue in a like manner until the day is over. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Save the last five minutes to perform end-of-the-day tasks. </li></ul></ul>STEP 6: Daily Habits
  44. 45. <ul><li>End your day  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review your day. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give yourself credit for what you have accomplished. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check off each completed item. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify tasks to be rescheduled later. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify when you can reasonably expect to finish the task. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rewrite it using your own personal shorthand to make the rewriting as simple as possible. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Return to today’s list and draw the arrow in front of the forwarded task. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminate all unnecessary tasks. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If the task has been forwarded five times, do whatever you can to eliminate the task from your list forever. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross out the entire day as done. </li></ul></ul>STEP 6: Daily Habits
  45. 46. <ul><li>Clean off your desk at the end of the day.  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Any papers or tools left on your desk should be placed in their appropriate spot in your Cockpit, written down in Air Traffic Control, placed in the Pending File, or in your bag, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do not leave any piles anywhere to haunt you!   </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shut off your brain and enjoy life, friends, and family! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Celebrate with a cool shower, a hot bath, or a glass of red wine and a your favorite book for night time reading. </li></ul></ul>STEP 6: Daily Habits
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