Saturday, December 8, 2018

Removing the Waste from our Work

Thanksgiving break gave me week off from work and nothing to do. No work, no trips, no responsibilities, and it was nice to have nothing on my agenda to get accomplished for the day. As I walked into my closet, I thought to myself, “I need to clean this closet out”, so I got started.

First step, I removed old clothes and stuff I threw in there because I didn’t have a place to put it. In a matter of minutes my closet had all that it needed in it, and nothing that I didn’t need any more. Next I moved to the garage. I did the same thing, curating and organizing the items that I needed and discarding the items that were no longer useful but were doing a great job taking up space. 

So let's process this strategy through the lens of our work.  What if we applied this analogy to our work.  How much clutter is in your closet?  Take some time to reflect and identify the things that inhibit you from being more efficient and effective. Here’s what I mean by that. 
  • What unproductive practices are causing your work to wear on you?  
  • What initiatives did you start a year or two ago that are just hanging around because you haven’t thrown them out yet?  
  • What time-killers are taking up space and preventing you from getting your job done? 
  • What needs to go, so you can make room for something new?
By answering these questions you should be able to identify practices that work for you and practices that are just killing time. Once you identify unproductivity, ban it from your work, so you can build in more time for productivity.  Often times we keep adding things to our work, yet we fail to remove things that simply don’t work. This is ultimately why people get overwhelmed so easily.  They don’t eliminate wasteful practices from their life. 

When you get your next 3 day break, take one day to do nothing but relax. Sit there and do very little. On the second day, audit your work and find what works well and what is a waste of time, and on the third day, get to cleaning. Get rid of everything that holds you back and file away everything that you used to use but don’t use anymore. By removing the clutter from your closets, your work will grow by leaps and bounds, and your stress level will thank you for it.  

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