Never leave till tomorrow that which you can do today. ~ Benjamin Franklin
The above timeless maxim is the guiding principle of many achievers you know. There is no doubt that we feel fulfilled when we achieve our daily targets, especially at work. We leave the office very happy and this mood can be contagious. Your friends and family usually feel it too. However, we rarely finish all we set out to do in a day. In fact, the opposite is often the case and we are left with no option but to defer till the next day. But there is a route to getting the job done more regularly and that is what I will be discussing here.
In the previous post, we said that if your tasks are organised early in the day you will realise that your work period will be decluttered. The term decluttering is a vast one that can be the subject of an entire book and there are many like The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing which covers it extensively. I have also read many books on Minimalism which is a concept that has its foundation in decluttering, both on the physical and psychological aspects.
But I will limit this piece to my decluttering approach at work and I will illustrate this with a short story.
My auto mechanic named Boss used to have a workshop filled to the brim with old parts and all sorts of damaged items. It was literally impossible to move around his workshop without picking up a greasy stain. So one day I asked why he leaves the worthless pile and his reply was expected.
“Worthless to you but valuable to me”, he replied.
Apparently, there could be good parts among the heap but I asked another question which left him wondering.
“Boss how many times in the last one year have you used a good spare part from this your dump?”.
Well, let me just say that by the time I returned after some months he had cleaned up his workshop and even repainted the entire place. He had a skip bag just outside for the worthless junk that once filled his working space. One particular corner that had piled up to the roof was now a small workstation with a desk and computer. Before now his laptop was usually left in his car trunk. He will only fetch it to diagnose a car and put it back in the trunk. I didn’t have to ask for him to tell me that he feels more composed at work now. He knows the exact location of every tool and equipment and so his efficiency greatly improved.
Our attitude to work will vary depending on the type of job you have but it is important to do two things.
- Declutter your mind.
- Declutter your workspace.
Of course, we have briefly dealt with the first in Serie III when we discussed organising your day very early in the morning. There are also many books like Minimalism: Live A Meaningful Life that discusses this aspect in more detail with methods like good sleep, meditation and single-tasking. We will delve into this aspect as we make progress.
Now whether you are an office or outfield worker it is important to tidy up your workspace. Leave only what is necessary and get rid of the rest. It facilitates the accomplishment of those tasks you wrote down in the morning.
Do this and you will notice a gradual improvement in your efficiency at work. With time you will achieve daily goals more regularly and only leave till tomorrow that which is impossible to achieve today.