Friday, March 10, 2006

Who's The Boss? You or the Clutter?

Something about the E-mail from retired manufacturer Ken Lehr in Cherry Hill reminded me of my parents and my grandparents, particularly my father and grandmother.

They are both dead now, but they would have been appalled at my situation here at work. The mess is not the problem in itself, but they would see my situation as revealing a lack of discipline and an unacceptable acceptance of low standards -- on the order of settling for a B in school when A work is your natural capability.

I don't want to sell myself short here. I have a lot of discipline in many aspects of my life, including here at work. But there is no reason I can't do it better. This little tongue-lashing from Ken Lehr is exactly the tone and type that I would have received at home as a child. Kind, stern, and right to the point.

Here are the first couple of paragraphs:

"You must get to the bottom of the clutter to solve your organizing problem. If you have 4200 E-Mails on file, 900 of which are unread, your surroundings are controlling the problem and you. Do your friends a favor and discard 90% of the E-Mails you have read and "filed", read the recent unread E-Mails, decide what to do and discard the rest. By the time you tiptoe through the pile, it will be too late for most of the answers anyway.

(I like the italicized part -- why should the piles control me? I like being the one in control!)

"It starts with a daily schedule, freshly written daily, on a 3 X 5 card, or its equivalent, detailing what must be done that day. The biggest users of time are mail, E-mail!!!, and [CELL!!!]phones, none of which are controlled by the recipient. A little discipline can bring these time users under control; but it is not possible without the personal schedule."

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