When everything just flows in our work, we have access to what we need to complete our tasks at the exact moment we need it. We look for a material where we believe we will find it, and there it is. Everything runs along smoothly and we finish the tasks in no time. When this is the case, I feel light, quick and almost invincible.
It’s not there
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes what we are looking for is not where we expected to find it. Other times we know where to find what we need, but it is hard to get to (either digitally or physically) and requires substantial effort to obtain. In both scenarios our progress is obstructed and our flow probably interrupted.
Keeping it close at hand
What if we always had what we needed more or less close by? We would then quickly and in a single move reach whatever we needed to finish the task before us.
Even if we do not have absolutely everything we might need in our immediate presence, reference points, hyperlinks and shortcuts can help us get to the right material in a jiffy. We can be aided not only by the tools themselves, for example the link on the website or the shortcut in Finder or File Explorer, but also by the principle itself: the fact that we place something somewhere that will help us get to a far-off something as easily as possible.
A most welcome correction
I do not know how much you adhere to this advice, but I could definitely apply this principle to my workday more. We could for instance:
- put up a small sign in the location where we incorrectly more than once have looked for something, which tells us where the object is
- create a shortcut in File Explorer or an alias in Finder in the folder we keep coming back to when looking for something we then remember being located elsewhere
- write down the URLs to the websites we need when performing a task we have to do from time to time in the notes-section for the recurring task in our digital to-do-list tool
- … or something else
Throughout this week, if you feel like it, keep an eye out for situations in which you would benefit from having a hyperlink, shortcut or other reference point to refer to. It could either be for your own personal use or for others who keep asking you where something specific is located.
If you think of a place or situation that could use a shortcut, create the shortcut right away or create a to-do-task telling you to do so, hence making sure you do not forget to create it but keep the reminder in the same list as all your other tasks.
Find it fast
If you use shortcuts, hyperlinks and references you will give yourself more immediate access to things that are not actually close at hand. You do not need to keep the same information in several places just to have it more readily available and you will find what you are looking for faster without spending unnecessary time looking for it. If you let a little sign redirect you in your search, you will eventually learn where it is and look for it in the right place to begin with.
What is your way?
Where could you use a reference, shortcut or hyperlink? Perhaps someplace which you have not thought of before? Share in the comment section below and help both me and others out with your ideas.