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13 Apr

Do you know?

Datum: 2011-04-13 13:05

Hav­ing good struc­ture is to know” my busi­ness friend replied over lunch the oth­er day when I asked what struc­ture means to her.

Indeed, that is tried and true”.

Where you are

If you have good struc­ture, you know where you are in rela­tion to where you want to be (in your pro­fes­sion­al life or in your busi­ness, for exam­ple), as opposed to if your struc­ture was not good, then you would stand as if on a quag­mire with­out being firm­ly root­ed nei­ther in his­to­ry nor in the future.

What you do

You know that you are advanc­ing in the major ini­tia­tives or project that you ini­ti­at­ed in order to cre­ate a bet­ter tomor­row. What you would not know if you did not know”, is what these small and large projects would be, and you would not know if any of them were stand­ing still or in dan­ger of being neglected.

What the right thing to do right now is

If you did not have good struc­ture, you would not know what the right thing to give pri­or­i­ty to right now would be, since you would not be aware of what all the pos­si­ble things that you have to do are, due to that you do not have them gath­ered in a des­ig­nat­ed place. 
Nei­ther would you know what to-do-items are hid­ing in that pile over there, to the left on your desk. Per­haps there is some­thing in the pile that sud­den­ly it is too late to do, but which would have cre­at­ed new oppor­tu­ni­ties if only you had com­plet­ed it in time (since it did not take too long to do after all, once you got to it).

Where it is

When you have good struc­ture, you know exact­ly where in your papers you should be look­ing to find that par­tic­u­lar doc­u­ment. You also know that your sys­tem for paper-ref­er­ence-mate­ri­als will be intact even if you open a win­dow and let the spring winds sweep in, since you have found a safer stor­age space for it than in stacks and piles on the desk.

What oth­ers do for you

When your per­son­al work­day-struc­ture is of a con­struc­tive kind, you know what you are wait­ing for from oth­ers and you know that you are still in no hur­ry to remind whomev­er it may be that you need to get what you are wait­ing for. When on the oth­er hand it isn’t good (your struc­ture, that is), you real­ize way too late that you should have received a cer­tain mate­r­i­al from a col­league before you went to the meet­ing and that you now have to think on your feet and wing it, because in front of you sits who you are hop­ing will become your next customer.

So, what do you pre­fer — to know or not know?

If you choose to know”, read this

If you want to know, make sure you have for­mu­lat­ed what is to you a clear and attrac­tive vision of how you want it (your com­pa­ny, your job, your life) to be in a cou­ple of years. Also make sure you have a place, a doc­u­ment, a map, or a sys­tem where you can see all the projects or larg­er ini­tia­tives that you have ongo­ing at the moment and make sure that you can pair each project with at least one next step that con­sti­tutes a to-do-item on your to-do-list. 

Ah, the to-do-list. Make sure you only have one. Be care­ful when for­mu­lat­ing the tasks you have to do and make them small” enough to enable you to do them in a sin­gle go. If they in turn con­sist of sev­er­al steps, they are actu­al­ly projects and should be put on the project-list (from which you for­mu­late the next step, which is put on the to-do-list).

Final­ly, make it a habit to write down every­thing you are wait­ing for from oth­ers in a sin­gle place (in a list, in a doc­u­ment, or some­thing like it). Not every­one is as struc­tured as you are. Just because they say they will get back you before Wednes­day”, you can­not be sure they will remem­ber to do so.

Do you real­ly need to know?

Igno­rance is bliss” — well, per­haps for a while, but not in the long run. 
So, join the con­scious, know­ing crowd, you too!

How do you do it?

How do you know when you do not know? How do you get an overview when you do not have it?

You are most wel­come to leave a com­ment below.