When you have developed a well-functioning structure to lean on in your work, your working-methods will have gotten rather refined. You sort and categorize, put things in folders and assign tags. You label, group and organize.
This helps you to remain focused and to keep track of all the things happening around you, but it also takes time. Not much perhaps, but still. You strive to be as efficient as possible when doing all the tasks which simply ”must get done”, in order to give yourself plenty of time for the tasks you want to get creative with.
Simplify the simplification
Part of what we do is the reason why we have chosen to work in the particular line of work that we are in or to live the life we lead. This is exactly why time spent doing something else is time not spent doing what you really want and enjoy, even if that which ”steals” time is our structuring.
So, simplify the structuring itself.
- Take a look at how you categorize your to-do-list.
- Are you using all categories?
- Could you remove a whole category?
- Could you perhaps even stop doing a particular kind of categorization?
- Are you no longer in need of tagging and labeling tasks with client’s names, since you nowadays are careful to connect tasks with the project they belong to rather than the client?
- Perhaps you never search for tasks using categories at all even if you automatically assign categories to tasks whenever you formulate a to-do-task.
- If so, then remove the category or categories which are superfluous, or stop categorizing in the manner which clearly is not beneficial to your structure.
- Now turn to you e‑mail inbox.
- Are you sorting your e‑mails using an unnecessarily large number of folders or tags?
- Could you search for an e‑mail when you need it instead of having this vast amount of folders and tags?
- If so, remove folders which are redundant and unneeded or merge them with other folders, and stop using tags which actually are not necessary.
- Do you have other structuring-habits which in all honesty do not benefit you or your work? Reevaluate your habits and decide if you really want to keep all of them.
Keep the number of categories down
The categories and tags we actually use are worth their weight in gold. The rest are just in the way. If you remove or stop using/doing what is not actually beneficial to your work, the processing and dealing with (the structuring) of all incoming materials et c will require less time and you will have more time for what matters most to you. You will not have to work more than necessary and can use the extra time you gain to do what provides you and your business with the greatest utility.
What change did you make?
If you removed something, what was it? Tell me!