Often it will bring back my motivation and I won’t mind returning to the work that I previously put to the bottom of the pile.
By: Natasha Morgan
If you work in an office and find yourself facing a pile of paper-work that is calling for your attention, how do you tackle it?
The mornings for me are the worst, especially those dreaded Mondays. Although my most productive time is before lunch, it’s the getting started that I find painful.
Sometimes, I am rescued by someone who needs to know something or needs a document prepared in a hurry. Now, I can no longer procrastinate! I jump right into the project and before you know it, I am into the swing of things. However, if no one calls or knocks at my office door, it will be up to me to get motivated. So, I put down that second cup of coffee and follow these simple tips:
* I take one file at a time and quickly scan through it assessing what needs to be done. Then, I make a few brief notes on a postal note or a scrap piece of paper and attach it to the file or page.
* As I read through the items, I prioritize them into 1. Urgent 2. Important 3. Can wait, and note it on the page.
* At the same time, on the same page I draw either a happy-face or a sad-face denoting whether it is something interesting or disagreeable that needs to be done.
* If I have a number of items, I list them on a fresh piece of paper under headings of 1,2 or 3 and put the happy or sad-face beside them.
* I also go through my in-basket using the above steps.
By following these tips, one of three things happen:
1. I will have organized and prioritized all my work.
2. I have found an item that screams for immediate attention.
3. Someone interrupts me to ask me to do something right away.
Any of them will launch me into my work with enthusiasm. I no longer feel like putting things off. When I have dealt with the emergency items, I can go back to my other files which are now either partially or completely prioritized. I finish the organizing and I feel very satisfied knowing what is ahead of me and how urgent the items are.
As I work my way through the files, I can decide which one to tackle next. Urgency of course should take precedence, but sometimes that sad-face is just too much to handle. In that case, I pick up one of the happy-face files and deal with it. Often it will bring back my motivation and I won’t mind returning to the one that I previously put to the bottom of the pile.
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