July 4, 2008

Order from Chaos 2b – “The Game Plan”

Posted in Book Report, Equilibrium, life, Order From Chaos, Organization tagged , , , , at 2:23 pm by otherdeb


Well, it’s time to look at the Ms. Davenport’s overview of her plan.

She notes is that this is the overview, and not the plan itself. She then explains that text in light grey boxes is examples, stories, etc., and that those who want facts only can skip the boxes. I found the stories and examples enriched things, so I did not skip them.

Next, she tackles a subject dear to my heart: accountability. She points out that getting organized is not a solitary task, even if you are a household of one. Her suggestion is that you share the project with a friend, relative, or co-worker. Notify them of your schedule for the program, and have them ask for weekly updates. You, dear readers, are who I will be accountable to for this process. And if you see me faltering, for any reason, please feel free to wield the accountability- or clue-bats, as needed. She suggests that if all else fails to keep you on task, you invite folks over to keep you company while you go through whatever particular task you are working on. Since that would be impossible at the moment, for many reasons, I will be content if your sitting with me is done via Plurk (otherdeb), a chat room (AIM & Yahoo: debjwunder), a phone call (email me for the phone #), whatever we can work out. I’m pretty flexible.

She sets a limit for deciding whether to keep or toss an item of 30 seconds, which seems reasonable. She feels that we know in our heart which is called for, but that we let fear change our mind.

Then she gets to the meat of the plan: she outlines the steps and how they build on each other. She also promises that there will be a checklist for us at the end of each step so that we can actually tell when we have accomplished it. Again. for those playing the home game, the steps are:

1. THE COCKPIT OFFICE: This is setting up your workspace so that what you need on a daily basis is within hands’ reach; on a weekly basis, within arms’ reach, and on a monthly basis, in your workspace but out of your way.

2. AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: This is about setting up a written organizer for everything, so that you have the information you need to get through you day at hand, in one spot, and don’t have those 190 bits of incoming information scribbled on post its all over the place.

3. THE PENDING FILE: This is a place for the pieces of paper you are actually working on to live. She says that many of her clients think that this is the most helpful piece of her plan. We shall see.

4. MAKE DECISIONS: Yeah, that. She wants us to set limits for how much we can do in a day, so that we keep from becoming oerwhelmed. She also notes that this is were we decide what to do with all that incoming data.

5. PRIORITIZE ONGOINGLY: She notes that this is how we will keep from becoming nibbled to death byt the little things. Again we shall see.

6. PLAN YOUR DAY, END YOUR DAY, CLEAN OFF YOUR DESK AT THE END OF THE DAY: She notes that this is especially important for those of us who cannot turn our brain “off” at the end of our workday. It swtarts with us reviewing our plan at the beginning of the day, review it at the end of the day (including ticking off finished stuff and rescheduling or dropping unfinished stuff), and making sure that everything is where it should be before you leave your office, so that you don’t waste time searching for it the next time you need it.

Next in this series: Pre-Organizing — Creating a Vacuum

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