I keep calendars. Lots of them. On my phone. On my wall. In my email. On my desk. In my head. I thank the makers of Post-It notes for allowing me to use those little yellow dreams that often get misplaced or tossed or shoved in a folder to never be seen again.
My to-do list is long; a few pages at least, a book at most. I take great pride when I'm able to mark of one of the hundred things I need to get done on a daily basis. Fast forward a few days, and my to-do list looks like it was attacked by a 4-k'er armed with smelly markers and a box of 64 crayons.
Last week I attended a Lunch and Learn put on management in my office. It was based on a book called "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. It's about the art of stress free productivity and organization and he focused on organizing not only your email boxes but voicemail and the hundreds of post it notes, to do lists and calendar entries any single person may have. First and foremost, in email, you need to create folders. He told us, much to my internal giggling, that your inbox should always be empty. When you see something come in, if you can't easily answer the email/question in two minutes or less, you should move it to a folder (to do, to follow up on, to keep for future reference...you get the picture.)
After the session I was ready to tackle my work inbox that houses, at last glance, 4,609 emails. Yes, you read right. Keep in mind, there are only 75 that are marked as new that I really need to file, follow up on or delete I'm a firm believer in hanging on to emails incase I need to CMA. In layman's terms...that's COVER MY ASS. In addition to the 4,609 emails at work, there are hundreds in our home account and thousands in an account I use for Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, Blogs, Recipes, Job Searches, Event Management, and my boys high school Gridiron Club.
I asked a question during the session about sent file...should you organize those? Answer was, no. It's not necessary. Interesting thought on that and one that I'll explore after I clean up the inboxes.
As for the Huffington Post article today, I agree with it wholeheartedly. As I was writing this entry, I added another six items that I need to follow up on, and I saved two articles I need to read at a later date.
Good lord help me.