Last Sunday’s lesson (and the last for now) in my ongoing course in structure in Sweden’s major morning paper Dagens Nyheter was about the fact that the key to excellent structure lies in the details.
In English, it translates as follows:
“Take command of the details
When we wish to improve our structure, a common misconception is that we need to make drastic changes. But according to my experience, it is all in the details. For instance in these:
- How available the to-do-list is. If you need to look for, flip through, log in to access or wait for the list, you will soon start writing tasks on readily available notes again.
- Phrase the to-do-tasks concretely. It may be tempting to write them as if dictating a telegram, but we only know what we actually mean right now, and will later be aided by being specific now.
- If we set random due-dates. If we set deadlines on tasks which do not require them, we risk having the whole list in urgent-mode and high-lighted in red for no good reason.
- Decide when…
- the calendar is full and no more urgent tasks can be completed this week.
- when we are available for others.
- when we check our e-mail.
- what projects we will put our energy into completing and which ones we will put on hold.
If you make sure to have these details under control, you will achieve a super-structured way of working long before most other people.