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22 Aug

Sift out, wash out

Datum: 2022-08-22 07:00

When the hol­i­day is over and a new sea­son begins, and we do not want to sucked into the busi­ness aim­less­ly and rush here and there depend­ing on what comes up that we have to deal with, but rather work con­scious­ly and with prop­er fore­sight, we need to get a quick and com­pre­hen­sive pic­ture of where we stand and what needs to be done dur­ing the next days, weeks or months.

Any new surprises?

Dur­ing our time away from the office piles of var­i­ous kinds have formed. They con­sist of, for instance, unread e‑mails to be processed, mail you have received and files col­leagues have sent you. These piles” con­ceal things which need to get done but which we were unaware of as we went on our holiday.

Our to-do-list is hence no longer com­plete and only reveal part of what you need to do, so let us make an effort to update it.

Do this

  1. Sift out any­thing that needs to get done from all the mate­ri­als and mail you have received dur­ing your absence. Read through e‑mails, lis­ten to all your voice-mes­sages, and go through any mail and papers left on your desk. Define any­thing you find as a to-do-task and add it to your to-do-list, hence mak­ing it com­pre­hen­sive and com­plete again.

    This might take quite a while to do and per­haps your cal­en­dar tells you that you are too busy to do this right now, but to be com­plete­ly hon­est, you have the choice of either deal­ing with this now or push it aside, post­pone it and hope for the best. There­fore, say no to as many meet­ings as you pos­si­bly can in the next few days until you have processed every­thing you have to go through and address so that you at least have as much time as pos­si­ble for doing so.

  2. Some tasks which were left on the list when you went away for your break are no longer rel­e­vant. Remove them com­plete­ly. Also wash away any­thing you wrote on the list with the inten­tion of doing at some point, but which now just feels as if it adds to your bur­den. Relax — you will have more bril­liant ideas, remov­ing these is not the end of the world. The list should now be short­er and rel­e­vant again. Feel better?

In con­trol and on a roll

Not until now, when we have gone through every­thing we received dur­ing our absence, can we be cer­tain that noth­ing will get unin­ten­tion­al­ly neglect­ed. When we pri­or­i­tize the tasks we find most impor­tant at every instance, we are choos­ing from all the tasks we actu­al­ly have to do, not just those which springs to mind at the moment. We can sim­ply get on with our work and life know­ing that every­thing is out in the open and no tasks remain concealed. 

What is your method?

How do you get a com­plete and com­pre­hen­sive grasp of all your tasks, projects and so on quick­ly? Do tell!