Despite forecasters calling for brief, but unwelcome snow showers this week in our area, I’m still ready to ride the wave of annual motivation that is spring cleaning.
My plan is to start with my office, which has been overrun with pamphlets, conference materials and story notes — many of which have been hibernating on my desk for the winter. It’s been said that the average piece of paper on a desk gets handled 7 times before any meaningful action is taken and I’m likely on the extreme end of that spectrum.
Last month, I had the opportunity to lead an in-house discussion with our employees on clearing the clutter many of us accumulate. One shared objective among the group was, rather than impulsively file or trash documents, we want to prioritize and categorize, so that in a few weeks, we’re not sifting through pile after pile of papers in vain.
I was fortunate to have participated in an idea-sharing session with several precision farming dealers a few weeks prior where one shared his systematic approach to transforming his office from a collection of disorganized documents to an easily accessible and manageable system.
He implemented — with great success — an A, B, C system, which assigned priority levels to everything on his desk. For instance, the today pile is the highest priority, with deadlines looming and perhaps complemented by a daily to-do list.
The secondary pile is paperwork that should stay in the radar and the third pile is relevant, but not required reading. Of course the system is only as good as the execution and it takes discipline to keep that high priority pile thin and rotating.
The objective is at the end of the day to spend very few minutes setting up your A file for the next day with a motivational benefit being a clean work space to start each day.