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03 Apr

How you know when you need more structure at work

Date: 2013-04-03 16:23 Comments: 0 st

By all means, being structured is great, but is it really something that applies to everyone? Do we really have to improve our way of working? Is being structured really an end in itself?

Of course it isn’t.

Good structure is only a tool used in the process of taking ourselves and our business in the desired direction as easily and smoothly as possible. Everyone does not have to become super-structured, but in my work with helping others becoming more organized, I often see signs indicating that more structure unquestionably would to the trick. 

The symptoms…

If any of the statements below seem familiar, then bringing more structure into your life might be the answer to your problems.

So, have any of the scenarios below ever happened to you?

  • You feel so overwhelmed with all the work you have to do that you cannot seem to get started on anything.
  • You have to reserve the conference-room to work on a task since there is too much clutter in your usual workspace.
  • You simply work more than you would like to.
  • You miss an appointment.
  • You have double-booked yourself to attend several meetings held at the same time. And it is not the first time you managed to do this.
  • You are in a coordination-meeting and dread the question you know will soon come regarding how you have progressed with what you promised you would do during the last meeting, since you have not worked on the assignment at all.
  • You think about work in your free time, for instance thinking of that you mustn’t forget to call this or that person on Monday.
  • Your client asks “What happened to that material you said you would send?”, and it occurs to you that you have completely forgotten about it.
  • You confuse two assignments, call one of your clients to discuss an aspect of the project and the client has no idea what you are talking about.
  • You rush to a meeting and arrive stressed and out of breath a few minutes late, since you remembered you needed to be in this meeting way too late.
  • You go where you assumed you would meet someone only to find out that the person in question has moved his office elsewhere (I admit, this happened to me recently and I have refined my process for booking meetings since).

Do this

  • Regardless if any of the above mentioned examples ring a bell or not, turn away from the computer for a moment to reflect.
  • Try to think about what the main reason for why you feel you want better structure is, and make this reason explicitly clear to yourself. It can be a situation or event that occurred or something you tend to do frequently that you wish to improve. It can for instance be how it feels to arrive at work in the morning or getting feedback from your clients.
  • If you want to, formulate it in terms of “I want to create a better structure in my work in order to redress …”.

…and the remedy

Seek (…a solution to a problem you have tried to specify as explicitly as you can), and you will find (… a tip that might suit you). Read whatever you can find, ask people you know and meet, listen to professionals active in the field and you will soon stumble upon an idea of what you can do to create a smoother workday. 

What is your way?

What do you need to improve when it comes to your personal or your business’ structure? Leave a comment to let me and others know your thoughts.

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