Vol. 14, No. 1, Pg. 42. The five most common organizing mistakes made by business people today.

Author:By Liz Davenport

South Carolina Lawyer


Vol. 14, No. 1, Pg. 42.

The five most common organizing mistakes made by business people today

42The five most common organizing mistakes made by business people todayBy Liz DavenportThe average business person receives 190 pieces of information each day. The average business person wastes 150 hours each year looking for stuff. Add 10 more hours and that is an entire work month. Sounds like being organized in important.

Yet, what do most of us do about getting organized? We talk about it, complain about it, worry about it and lose sleep over it, but we don't fix it. There are many ways we make things more difficult for ourselves, but here are the top five things to avoid and a few words about a solution.

44 1. Leaving something out to remind you

We often fear the "out-of-sightout-of-mind" syndrome. So, we leave the piece of paper on the desktop; we write a sticky note and stick it on the monitor; we leave the phone messages in a stack by the phone; we print out the e-mails and leave them on the desk. At 190 new pieces a day, pretty soon the desk is awash in reminders. Some from today, some from yesterday, some from a week ago, some from a month ago. Unfortunately, we think this system will work. But in reality, since we don't have time to shuffle through each pile every day, we really rely on remembering what we left the paper out to remind us of in the first place.

The solution? Write everything down! You need one system where you record everything -- appointments, tasks, notes. And it needs to include everything, not just some things. Not just the important things. Yes, it takes time to write it all down, but between sticky notes, phone slips, desk pads and the backs of envelopes, we are writing most of it down already. So, write it down all in the same place and write it down in a time-sensitive manner. If you don't have to do anything about it for a week, write it down on next week's page. If you don't have to deal with it until tomorrow, write it on tomorrow's page and forget about it today. If you don't have to address it for six months, write it down six months from now. The important thing is writing it down. By the way, if you don't see the person you ask to do something write it down, know that your request will probably be lost.

2. Believing you will get done by 5 p.m. today

When was the last time you were "done?"...

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