«Vi lever i et ulykkelig ekteskap med internett»

Hvor mange andre enn Agnes Ravatn, journalist i Dagbladet og forfatter, går med de samme tankene om sitt ulykkelige ekteskap med internett?

Som bedriftsleder, rådgiver og kursleder innen “faget” Personlig Effektivitet med over 30 års erfaring, har jeg sett hvordan dette “fenomenet” internett (inkluderende alle sosiale samfunn og andre tidsfordrivende fasiliteter man bare må være med på) stjeler vår oppmerksomhet fra det vi hadde tenkt å være oppmerksom mot.

Agnes formulerer seg i denne artikkelen på en fascinerende og engasjerende måte som leseren bare må ta stilling til. Det skal bli spennende å se (og å høre) om andre ekteskap som lider samme skjebne.

Artikkelen finner du: Her:

Johan Chr. Holst, Redaktør

Solution: Clean space = An organized mind

You can start  your own personal revolution with a simple change such as arranging desk paper into project files, a working file (active projects you are currently working on) as well as a quick access file for files/documents you use often, directories, references etc. This can make a huge difference if you can learn to recognise the items  you need now vs those you use less often vs the dust-collectors for disposal/filing – it’s simple implementation from there.

It does also take some time and effort to make the change and for many, a step away from bad habits borne of an often misplaced sense of urgency (we’ll look more at this next month).

A real change necessitates the establishment of new, positive habits and behaviours along with a personal pledge to never just dump papers on your desk; to never just download a file to your desktop. You’ll minimise the need to tidy up because things will be in their place from the outset. Not to mention the time that you’ll save searching for things, that can be used on more important activities.

PEPworldwide’s Person Efficiency Programme recommends a “Do it Now (if it will take you less than 10 minutes) or Decide Now” approach to personal management which can affect not only the free space on your desk and PC, but your productivity and efficiency.

How does it work? If you’re not going to address the issue right this minute, then decide exactly what you are going to do with it.  Develop it (take it to the next level), diarise it in your Outlook, designate it to your task list, delegate it, do it routinely (for example, checklists or invoices you can regulate), deposit/file it, dump/delete it or get help if you need more information.  These guidelines can help cut down your desk paper and email inbox, if applied consistently – while helping you apply priorities to tasks, building personal organisation and thus, efficiency.

Apart from decreasing stress levels and encouraging a bit more organisation, what exactly are the efficiency and productivity gains from making things a bit more ‘zen’? Let’s say you have an Executive who grosses $60,000 per year. That translates into about 50 cents per minute. Think of the precious time spent going through work ‘stuff’ to get to the real work – a loss of, say, 30 minutes each day. In a year, the time wasted will cost your company about $3,000 in lost productivity. This adds up across multiple employees too. So, consider, how much time and money are you wasting looking for this or reprinting that (because your last copy is ‘somewhere’ on the desk).

To add to the bottom line, chances are it’s not just you shaking your head every time you see your cluttered and messy workspace. It seems your colleagues and even your boss will be judging you also. In fact, a 2012 US study of 1,000 workers by Adecco suggests employees will look on someone more negatively if their desk or cubicle is a mess. A third said they saw a chaotic workstation as a sign of laziness. Three-quarters of those surveyed said employees are most productive when their desk is neat.

Top tips for workplace zen:

  • Adopt a “Do it Now or Decide Now” approach to tasks – it will simplify your life
  • If it’s not in a project folder, active project folder or daily access folder; Store it elsewhere or dump it
  • Ensure your space is well lit – natural light is best, but work with what you’ve got
  • Ensure you have everything you need (but only what you need), in its place
  • Use the last 10 minutes of your day to ‘restore order’. Chaos is banned
  • Don’t succumb to the filing cabinet ‘dumping ground’ – keep legal and important documents only in named folders
  • Post its can be useful, yet, they are clutter and all too often get lost. Put these away and write down reminders in a notebook
  • Use your Outlook calendar to your advantage: Set time for work or tasks and ensure what’s physically on your desk represents exactly what you need to achieve in that time(no distractions)
  • Your PC is an extension of your workspace – keep it organised
  • Your inbox is also an extension of your workspace – keep it organised (an email filing system can work wonders)

Mark Rigby PEPworldwide – New Zealand

Johan Chr. Holst, PEPworldwide Norway, Redaktør.

Tilbake til hjemmesiden: pep.no

 

Cluttered space = Cluttered mind

Does your work desk resemble a miniature city of paper-skyscrapers? Are you the Mayor of this miniature urban jungle?

Are you concerned about the 3 new strains of Penicillin harboured by your small colony of coffee cups? Are you considering filing a missing persons report for the 3 staplers you’ve lost to ‘the desk’ over the past 6 months?

Yes, it sounds like Hell and yet this is the environment many people ‘work’ in, every day.

In order to drive greater workplace efficiency, productivity and even creativity, the work environment is crucial. Yet it’s something very few of us ever do anything about – save for a ‘token tidy’ before a holiday or when we start a new job.

This article isn’t just about empowering you to minimise clutter and perhaps allowing the cleaner to wipe down one of those hidden surfaces every now and then. This is about being able to find things when you want them, minimising ‘search time’ and distractions and boosting productivity, all while simultaneously cutting down on the mental ‘clutter’ that is all too often a reflection of our physical work spaces. It’s about fostering personal organisation and making your own space ‘work-enhancing’ not ‘work-limiting’.

PEPworldwide’s study of workplace stress among several thousand workers measured the correlation between the piles of papers on one’s desk and workplace stress; unsurprisingly, those who reported ‘always’ or ‘often’ having papers on their desk, unrelated to the project at hand, reported higher stress levels.

A similar relationship was found between stress levels and the volume of emails in one’s inbox. You know how your blood starts boiling somewhere near your heart as the number of unread emails reaches 3-figures again? That’s stress – and it’s not good for you.

With access to emails now potentially 24/7 via smart phones and tablet technology ‘conveniences’ at every turn, this accessibility will ultimately have ramifications on health and wellbeing if workers mismanage it – to the further detriment of workplace productivity and efficiency.

Next week we’ll show you how to create a clean space = an organized mind.

Mark Rigby, PEPworldwide – New Zealand

Johan Chr. Holst, PEPww Norway, Redaktør. Tilbake til hjemmesiden: pep.no

Our addiction to Urgency – Solution

Those who seldom or never put off what they could address now reported markedly lower stress levels in a PEPwordwide study of 4,200 workers. A similar relationship was found for those who seldom or never accumulated a backlog of work.

“Nice for some”, you may argue, “but I’ll bet they were working overtime to do it”.

Not necessarily.

It’s all about ‘prioritising by importance’.

To do this, simply assess a task’s importance to you, your team and your business.

An important and urgent task is delivering a time-bound report to a client. An urgent but relatively less important task is the weekly team meeting to discuss and share ideas.

Last month, we emphasised the usefulness of the PEPworldwide ‘Do it Now (if it will take you less that 10 minutes) or Decide Now’ philosophy to help personal management and efficiency. Use it to prioritise new tasks that appear on your list of demands.

If you’re not going to address the issue right this minute, then decide exactly what you are going to do with it.  Develop it (take it to the next level), diarise it in your Outlook, designate it to your task list, delegate it, do it routinely (for example, checklists or invoices you can regulate), deposit/file it, dump/delete it or get help if you need more information.  These guidelines can help you apply priorities to tasks and build personal organisation and thus, efficiency.

With your tasks prioritised, manage your exposure to external influences. Access to emails is now potentially 24/7 with smart phones and tablet technology ‘conveniences’.  According to PEPworldwide research of 5,000 workers, 50% of the population received more than 25 emails per day. This equates to at least 25 moments of reactivity and distraction and is not going to be conducive to efficient and productive work streams!

In 2008, scientists concluded that people consume three times more information on a daily basis as they did in 1960. New research shows that workers change computer windows or check e-mail or other programs nearly 37 times an hour.  That’s a lot of kerfuffle!

Do not be afraid to turn these gadgets off for a period of time while you’re working on something important. Old-school, but effective. PEPworldwide recommend not more than 2-3 inbox checks a day – any more than that and you are escalating your stress levels and feeding your urgency addiction.

Next month, we’ll dive deeper into the magic of email efficiencies – until then, deep breaths…

Top tips for ditching the urgency fix:

  • Adopt a “Do it Now or Decide Now” approach to tasks – it will simplify your life
  • Prioritise by importance: assess the impact to you, your team, your business
  • Use your Outlook calendar to your advantage: set time for important work or tasks and ensure what’s physically on your desk represents exactly what you need to achieve in that time
  • Do not allow for external factors to influence your task at hand; turn off your phone and shut down your Outlook – the world will continue to turn while you get something important done
  • Don’t go to the opening of an envelope – do you really need to go to that meeting? Decline if your presence won’t benefit you or the team (Remember: prioritise by importance!)
  • You are a finite resource – learn how to calm down when the going gets tough; be it through meditation or deep breathing, a walk around the block or a gym session (in other words, don’t rely on a vino at the end of the day to get your zen on).

 

Mark Rigby PEPworldwide – New Zealand

Johan Chr. Holst, PEPww Norway, Redaktør. Tilbake til hjemmesiden: pep.no

 

Our addiction to Urgency

What would you think if you saw a crab canoodling with a butterfly? A hare hauling a snail shell?

Too busy rushing through your working day to give it much thought? How ironic, given these unusual couplings are symbolic of an oft-quoted maxim: Make haste not speed.

The meaning of this little adage is that activities should be performed with a proper balance of urgency and diligence. If tasks are rushed too quickly or ‘reactively’ then mistakes are more likely to be made and positive long-term results are less likely achieved.

However, so often in the workplace, and even more generally in life, a misplaced and sometimes omnipresent sense of urgency can lead us all into a world of pain; never completing tasks or completing them poorly, feeling stressed, overwhelmed or to quote one Bilbo Baggins, like “butter scraped over too much bread”.

So, where does this familiar urgency and panic routine come from?

Stress is a natural human response when we lose control over our workloads and as demands made on us, as a resource, escalate.  Stress is simply a fine balance between efficiency and demand.  A small to moderate amount of stress is ok – it can even help fuel our focus and efficacy to complete tasks, but too much has a physiological impact on our bodies and our productivity, which then kills our efficiency.

Physiologically, stress fills us with a potent cocktail of cortisol, noradrenaline and adrenaline – designed to give us a rush of blood to the head to either face the imminent danger of that 24-hour turnaround report head-on, or run for the hills.

Chronic stress has been linked to health problems ranging from heart disease to asthma to ulcers, and “the cardiovascular health risk it poses is not dissimilar to the risk conferred by cigarette smoking” says Laura Kubzansky, Associate Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard School of Public Health (March 8 2013).  So you see why it’s important for us all to quit our urgency cycle in the workplace; Make haste not speed.

So how do we do that? Find out next week.

Mark Rigby, PEPworldwide – New Zealand

Johan Chr. Holst, PEPww Norway, Redaktør

Tilbake til hjemmesiden: pep.no