With the second of my three star words for 2012 being Plan, a key part of my planning for 2012 is to make my working life much more efficient. Each day now, I look at something in my working life that is not being done efficiently and deciding how it can be improved.
I have been in the workforce since before EDP was first introduced and when IBM computer cards with their lovely little holes punched in them were the order of the day. After nearly thirty years as a financial planner, during which time we were promised the “paperless office”, I am convinced that there are several key factors that cripple our productivity and prevent us from creating the profits we deserve.
- Lack of organization
- Lack of discipline
- Lack of understanding
The first two – lack of organization and discipline are the left and right hands of loss of productivity. They are the parents of your poverty!
One of the primary culprits for those who work online a lot is the ease with which we sign up to newsletters, new accounts and attractive websites – under the stress of FIMO.
The need to be quick, to create ANOTHER password for the new internet account or blog or newsletter access that we just must have – and not taking the extra 79 secs to WRITE IT DOWN on a card in a master file is one of the most common and regular steps along the road to frustration and time wasting. The greater guilty party is the LACK OF DISCIPINE.
For some obscure reason, we seem to think that being disciplined enough to do something the same way every time restricts our creativity and inhibits our freedom of expression – which in fact nothing could be further from the truth. With good routine discipline, we just do what is necessary to record the essentials for future reference and then let our creative minds have free rein.
As outlined in the excellent book Paper Flow Project one key element in managing your time and paper flow is to document your Internet access information:
- Email address,
- URL of the site
These are key details that you need to record for efficiency and profitability. A small card box (4”x6” indexed cards with an A-Z setup is all you need).
It is important for many reasons – not the least of which is the need to be able to share your access codes with your trusted advisers and co-workers. My IT support guy (aka Mike Haydon of SEO Perth ) has on more than one occasion had to email me to check for a changed password or indeed one for an account that is new to him. A reply email which says “ah, try xxxxx and let me know if that doesn’t work” is not an efficient way for him to work with me, nor does it respect his professional expertise, of which I avail myself very often.
Lack of understanding is not a case of not knowing how to do this: it is a case of not knowing how important it is to do this. It is a failure to comprehend and value the amount of work time and mental energy wasted; the loss of opportunity to do something worthwhile instead of being frustrated by not being able to remember your password or user name or the email address used to sign up on a site you do not use very often.
If you never have to search for a password or remember the email address you use for every account you access – Congratulations! Your organization and discipline commend you and undoubtedly your bank manager loves you! For the rest of us, this is a great project to set for yourself for the first couple of weeks of January 2012.
The worst that can happen is you will be save yourself much frustration later in the year. The best that can happen is you will free up two or three hours a week (yes, that much time) and you will see your work will be much more productive with the resultant increased profitability in the very near future.
FIMO… I hear you say? The Fear Of Missing Out. We will talk about FIMO another day. For today – it’s enough to get your access information cards set up and watch your profits rise in line with your new efficiency and productivity.
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Lesley Dewar is a well known blogger and workshop facilitator who writes regularly on Social Media, marketing and customer service in the category of Business Tips
Her free eBook can be downloaded directly at Networking To a Plan Sharing this article is permitted providing this footnote is not deleted – all rights reserved. (c) Lesley Dewar 2012