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03 Apr

How you know when you need more structure at work


Datum: 2013-04-03 16:23

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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