REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS (email@example.com/haroldshawjr.com)
After reading it I can honestly say that I am glad that I did and the only complaint that I have is that I didn’t do it sooner! I have been attempting “to do with less” for some time, but in “The Power of Less”, Leo gave me quite a few concrete tips/strategies that will help me at work and personally.
Today is the first day of re-organizing my work space, I got most everything off my desk and went to a file folder system to use in conjunction with my written planner. It paid dividends when I got a phone call about something and just put my fingers right on the folder instead of “looking” through my “pile”. I believe that this read it, file it, delegate it or trash it method will help my stress level so much. That along with his belief in focusing on one thing at a time, instead of the multitasking hell that we put ourselves through on a daily basis and don’t complete anyone project to the fullest extent (it usually gets done “good enough”).
Picture of my desk (taken about 2 months ago) – not too bad, but you can’t really see around the side – there was a lot of stuff in a pile by the window and it is a mess over by the computer terminal.
This afternoon just before leaving, (I know it won’t always look like this), but if I use the file folder system correctly and only focus on one thing at a time, it can look like this most of the time. I still have to get rid of the notebooks (they will go tomorrow to the bookcase) and I will finish up the computer terminal area. Then I will attack the drawers, they need a thorough cleansing. It actually feels good to write about this, because I feel as though I am making progress.
The other big thing that I did today was clean up my e-mail, because Leo was correct, I was being “ruled” by e-mail (I would stop everything and answer the most recent e-mail that I had received, then attempt to get back to what I was doing – which did cause mistakes, lost train of thought and productive time lost on projects that need to get done. He recommends that you limit the times you check your e-mail and to turn off the notifications – when you receive e-mail. I still have to turn off the notifications, but I did limit myself to checking my e-mail at 7:15, 9:45, 1:30 and 4:30. It was kind of liberating to give myself permission to ignore the siren’s call to check my e-mail constantly and not having to worry about answering someone immediately.
I honestly believe that after making these relatively small changes that I got a lot more done than usual and felt much more focused day than I have been for a long time. I even undertook a small piece of a large project, I am not looking forward to and have been procrastinating on for way too long. I didn’t get home completely wiped out, which is my usual state when I leave work. Let’s see how I am by Thursday (before vacation).
I also cleaned out my e-mails (that took a little longer than I thought it would, but was worth it) and I have gone to the read-it, file-it, forward-it, or trash-it system for my e-mail, the only change I made was a to-do e-mail file (to just keep on the surface for quick retrieval) that gets filed or deleted when checked off in my planner. When I left work today, for the first time that I can remember, I had no new e-mails in my “in or sent boxes” and it was a good feeling.
One of my co-workers wants to read the book now, so I will bring it in for her to read, but I want it back, because I am going to read it again, only this time I will go through the lists and highlight areas that are important to me.
The “Power of Less” I have a feeling is going to make a positive difference in how I approach work and when I get the book back some other areas of my life. I strongly urge anyone that has not read the book to read it. It could make a difference for you.
I will continue to give updates on other things that I am trying since I have read the “Power of Less” – it should be an interesting journey, but one that I will be better for doing.
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