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Archive for February, 2012


Help Employees Clear the Clutter

In my GO System classes, I often hear participants state that they want to clean up their offices and workspaces, but they just do not have the time to get organized. If your staff is buried under stacks of unfiled paper, try hosting a monthly Clear-the-Clutter hour. 

Choose one day a month and set aside one hour when your employees focus on getting organized. Have employees focus on clearing stacks of papers, filing and archiving documents, shredding sensitive material, organizing emails and computer desktops and so on. Make it fun by serving pizza or rewarding the person who clears the most clutter in the time allotted. 

See these blog posts for more information you can share with your staff: Simple Approach to Eliminating Clutter and Email Management.


Fast Isn’t Always Best

Often, frantic motion is confused with constructive action.  Yes, you’re busy, but what are you really doing?  Working faster isn’t necessarily better.  In fact, the faster you work, the more you leave yourself open to errors. The key is not working faster; the key is working on the right things. You do this by using the 80/20 Rule or Pareto Principle. 

The 80/20 Rule says that most of your results come from a small portion of your actual work. If you spend too much time and energy doing things that are not very important, you cannot be positively productive, even if you are working as fast as you can!  

Which activities support your highest priorities and produce the greatest results? Focus your energy on those activities. See my blog post What Are Your Three Top Priorities? for some tips on choosing your top three priorities for the day. They represent the best use of your time and ensure the Pareto Principle works for you!


Show Your Appreciation at Work

We usually associate Valentine’s Day with romance and love, but I want to take the idea in a slightly different direction. I think this is a great time to tell people you work with that you appreciate them. 

Remember back in elementary school when Valentine’s Day rolled around? Teachers made sure every child got at least one valentine—even the kids no one liked very much. This kind of recognition is, in fact, kind and generous. So, how do you translate it to the workplace? 

  • Since sending adult Valentine cards might communicate the wrong message, send a warm, gracious email or thank-you card to those you work with.
  • Host a Valentine’s party for your staff with treats and a longer-than-usual morning or afternoon break.
  • Let staff leave early to prepare for evening Valentine festivities.
  • Just say, “Thanks for a job well done! I appreciate all you do!” 

A little appreciation goes a long way to keep people motivated and productive.


Get Out of Your Own Way

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? 

Did you keep it? 

Why do we so desire to make positive changes and fall short of actually taking action? 

Sometimes, we do not know where to start. The key is to start anywhere! If you want to lose 50 pounds, you cannot lose it all at once! Aim for two pounds and then another two. 

Often, we just do not want to do something. This is the reason many resolutions fail. The pain of making a change is greater than the pain of living with the status quo, or the reward is not worth the effort it takes to achieve it. If this is your reason for not taking action, revisit what you really want and reframe your reason. For example, maybe losing 50 pounds for your high school reunion is not enough of a motivator. However, losing 50 pounds to avoid diabetes or a heart attack just might be. 

If you aren’t making the changes you say you want, look at why you want to make them. Try reframing your motivation and see how fast change can happen.