Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Managing Work Flow

Tips for Tuesday

Whether it's your work desk or your personal desk at home, the papers can get overwhelming.  It's sometimes difficult to determine where everything should go.  It seems like more is coming in than is going out.  So how do you handle your work flow to make your desk a productive space?

First, look at every item as it comes "in."  Determine if it needs action.  If not, then it belongs in one of three categories; Discard (trash, recycle, shred), Incubate (hold for later review), File (reference material when required).

If the item needs action, what is that action?  If it can be done in less than two minutes, then do it.  If you can, delegate it. This can be tracked via a communication system.  If you are waiting for someone to do it, check up on the progress on a regular basis.  Anything else needs to be deferred.  When a task is deferred, separate them into tasks that need to be done as soon as possible, and tasks that can be done later.  Schedule time on your calendar for those that can be done later. 

Sometimes the action required on an item is multi-step.  In this case, the individual steps within the project need to be planned out and scheduled.  Each step must be reviewed for further action.

Finally, keep your desk as clear as possible by following these rules:

·         If it's used every day, it belongs ON your desk.

·         If it's used every week, it belongs IN your desk.

·         If it's used every month, it belongs in your office.

·         Everything else belongs in storage.

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