In last week’s blog I named some key reasons why a lot of people have a problem with getting rid of their backlogs and an email InBox that keeps on growing. This causes a lot of stress since you are continually looking at the huge amount of work that still needs to be done and additionally you see new tasks and assignments that also have to be taken care of.
With our PEP Efficiency Survey we have tabulated the results from 4000 thousand PEP Program participants and can now conclude without a doubt that backlogs are a major cause of stress.
The method of dealing with these backlogs are: planning, discipline and creating a routine. As you also do not want the backlog to grow
further you need to develop efficient work habits.
Basically you need to approach this twofold:
- Routinely schedule time for working through (finish) the backlog and
- Develop efficient working habits and routines so that you do not create a new backlog.
Now for tackling the backlog. If you have the opportunity to work from home one day a week, then Just Do It. Actually plan a block of time in your calendar, preferably first thing in the morning. Make sure to not first open and look for any newly arrived email!
Start with the oldest item and don’t go on to the next until you’ve finished it! Now make a clear decision using the 4 D’s:
- If you can finish it within 10 minutes then DO IT NOW!
- When it will take longer than 10 minutes, DESIGNATE IT! Plan a specific time for it in your calendar.
- If you don’t need it or know where you can find it, DELETE IT!
- When someone elsecan or should do it then DELEGATE IT NOW!
In this way you systematically get rid of the work that has been waiting to be done for a long time and your InBox will be clean and manageable again!
Keep this planning alive, making sure the documents, mails and to-do tasks don’t start to pile up again. Make the discipline a routine and keep it organized!
Remco Visser, PEPworldwide Nederland
Johan Chr. Holst, PEPww Norge, Redaktør
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