The 3T's of Office Productivity
Time, Tools, and Trust
Time: To be productive you have to commit your time.
Saying that you're going to do something, and committing to it by writing it down on your calendar are two different things. Be willing to write down what you're going to do today. Putting items on a calendar with an assigned time, actually shows you the path to project completion. There have been times when I've had clients who refuse to write things on their calendar and their success in getting things done suffers, and they tell me they don't know why their work does not get done.
Eliminate the time of deciding to decide. What I mean is, when you have so many things to choose from, you actually are spending more time choosing amongst the available options, then you do actually performing work on any of them. By scheduling them into your calendar, each with their own time, as they become necessary, you're going to get them done one by one, instead of just looking at the list trying just to decide. Keep your project list with all of the steps noted, so that when this step is completed you can move directly to the next item on the list.
Tools: The next item of the 3 T's is tools. Do you have the correct tools for the job? Will you be sitting at your computer? Do you have a writing pad, if you're going to be writing? Do you have a telephone? Do you have or need a headset? If you will be saving copies of documents, do you have a flash drive, or an external drive to save them on? Are you working with photos ? Do you have your camera, SD cards, cables or other necessary tools?
Think about your productivity like a play room full of toys. If they are all piled in a jumble on the floor, how do you know what play with? How do you even start if all the parts aren't even together? It just seems easier to give up. The next time you're thinking about a project, remember the playroom. If you can't find all the pieces, how are you going to schedule the project? If they are all randomly piled in a heap, how will you be sure you have everything you need?
Once you have collected the necessary tools, make sure they're assembled in the place where you will use them. It is really useful to make the storage location part of your process: store the items near the location where they're going to be used. Point of use, near point of storage, prevents you from spending valuable time running up and down the stairs looking for that special paper or your favorite pen. You will see your productivity increase by having your tools in a place convenient to where you are working.
3. Our last T is trust: None of these strategies will help you unless you establish trust. So, if you think something’s not going to work, and you doubted it the minute that you put it into place, it's very likely that you won’t develop trust in it, and you won't ever use it. For productivity systems to work you have to establish an effective level of trust. If you trust your system, you will have an easier time building the habits around using your system. If you do not trust your system, you will constantly find yourself searching for that next tool, the next app, or that next breakthrough to help you to get things done.
While you're establishing your system be sure you establish trust. As we learned from Barbara Hemphill, it is not what you want to do; it is what WILL you do. By following the 3T's you will have a more satisfying and productive day!