Clear the Decks!

Being efficient and productive is essential to being an effective and successful HR leader.  I like to occasionally share my own personal productivity techniques here at HHHR in the hopes that they may be of some help to my readers and listeners.

Soon after starting my concentrated effort to manage my email three times a day, I started a new organization improvement method of “clearing the decks desk”.

Before I go home for the day, I completely clear off my desk and the top of my filing cabinet.  I file away the papers that need filing and put papers that I am still working with in my desk tray.

This daily clearing the decks forces me to do the filing and organizing that tends to get procrastinated throughout the days and weeks causing work to be forgotten, misplaced, and piled up.  Before I started this effort, my desk was never out of control but it was usually messy and disorganized.

As you see in the photo I leave work with my desk cleared off and when I come in to start a new day, I’m greeted with a clean and organized office that allows and motivates me to quickly get right back to work.

I’m much more efficient and effective and able to produce higher quality work.

As David Allen says in his book “Getting Things Done”,

…our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential.

Clearing my desk every evening helps me clear my mind and plan for the next day.

Coming into a clear desk every morning allows me to start the day fresh without any mental or physical clutter from the day before.

It takes discipline and effort to get into the habit but when you make it part of your daily routine, it will pay off with increased productivity and reduce the amount of daily stress at work.

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